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SXSW Reportedly Rejects 'The Canyons' Over "Quality Issues," Paul Schrader Has "No Qualms" That The Film Is "Very Good"

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 23, 2013 at 11:46AM

Well, the buzz around Paul Schrader's "The Canyons" continues to swirl, and it's been not particularly good. Most of that talk comes from the New York Times Magazine extensive article on the film, which among other things included the saga of Lindsay Lohan's behaviour on the set, creative differences between the director, producer Braxton Pope and writer Bret Easton Ellis, and even the revelation that Steven Soderbergh offered to edit the film. The picture was also turned down by the Sundance Film Festival, and it seems another festival has decided they won't be screening the movie either.
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The Canyons James Deen Lindsay Lohan Behind-The-Scenes

Well, the buzz around Paul Schrader's "The Canyons" continues to swirl, and it's been not particularly good. Most of that talk comes from the New York Times Magazine extensive article on the film, which among other things included the saga of Lindsay Lohan's behaviour on the set, creative differences between the director, producer Braxton Pope and writer Bret Easton Ellis, and even the revelation that Steven Soderbergh offered to edit the film. The picture was also turned down by the Sundance Film Festival, and it seems another festival has decided they won't be screening the movie either.

According to sources speaking to THR, SXSW has rejected "The Canyons" citing "quality issues" with their source saying the movie has "an ugliness and a deadness to it." Umm, ouch. For what it's worth, Pope has said he's received no word from SXSW and again, this is unverified as well (though THR is legit and reliable). But for all this talk of the movie getting turned down from Park City, and now seemingly Austin, the director has hit Facebook to reveal that in retrospect, they probably weren't ready to premiere the movie just yet anyway. Moreover, he's confident in the picture. Here's what he wrote:

After the NYT Mag piece, many have asked when the film will be shown. It's going to be a few months. The intense reactions to Liz and Dick and the Times Mag article have made us realize that there will be an immediate blowback once The Canyons is publically screened--for good and ill. That's the nature of anything involving Lindsay (plus BEE and JD, who also elicit visceral reactions). Therefore, when the film is shown it should also be available VOD and limited theatrical. That way the curious can see the film for themselves. I am told it takes 3-4 months to organize a proper VOD release. After Sundance we'll screen the film for multi-platform distributors and set the process in motion. In a way it's good we're not at Sundance. We weren't prepared, we weren't organized. Films enter festivals to heighten their profile. The Canyons doesn't need to do that. We need to organize multi-platform distribution. This is not a dodge, it's common sense. The film is very good. I have no qualms about that. Paul S.

Like anything even remotely involving Lindsay Lohan, "The Canyons" will continue to be scrutinized until it finally does hit screens both big and small. But you can get a good taste of what's to come by watching a three minute clip from the movie right here. Is Schrader in trouble or is the movie being given an unfair shake? Let us know below.

This article is related to: SXSW Film Festival, The Canyons, Paul Schrader


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