Tryst and Shout: “The Canyons” (2013)

      Tryst and Shout:  “The Canyons”   (2013)

     Paul Schrader may not sympathize with his characters, but he certainly enjoys their discomfort. Were he to attempt a screwball comedy, it would no doubt result in an invocation of the mordant spiritual crisis of imitation Bresson laced with the nihilismthecanyonsOS (but not the energy) of a Robert Aldrich film. In “The Canyons”, he presents yet another of his coldly clinical dissections of personal power, sex and isolation, with the only distinctiveness in this opus being with the players and not what is being played. (If the sole point of interest is a case of novelty casting, the film is in serious jeopardy.) That his chosen collaborator in this effort is the peculiarly unsatisfying novelist Bret Easton Ellis suggests a lunatic aggressiveness on Schrader’s part. to challenge himself with a creative partner who is fated to magnify all of his own worst instincts. 

    At this late stage of the game, Schrader continues to produce films which advocate an excited film school critic mentality dulled by a peculiar arrogance suggesting that the movies are an art form ultimately beneath him. “The Cinema”, however, would be a classist point of differentiation, an intellectual line of distinction that to adequately interpret would require a voluntary slogging through the mire of another of his exhausting and interminable canonical treatises.

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in movie reviews, Movies, Paul Schrader, Reviews, sex, women, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tryst and Shout: “The Canyons” (2013)

  1. beetleypete says:

    I had never even heard of this film, and laughed at the ‘real names’ of some of the cast members. However, I think we are going to have to disagree about Schrader in general. ‘Light Sleeper’ is one of my favourite films of the 90s, and I have a lot of time for ‘Blue Collar’, ‘Hardcore’, and ‘The Comfort of Strangers’.
    I may also be one of the few people who thought that ‘American Psycho’ was a marvellous book, and the film adaptation perfectly realised. Rarely has the vacuous lifestyle of those money men of the time been so astutely examined.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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