Hatred For ‘The Canyons’ Confuses Bret Easton Ellis

Hatred For ‘The Canyons’ Confuses Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis — as you probably know if you’ve read any of our articles about him — is not a stranger to controversy. It could even be said he courts it. But maybe not all the time. In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Ellis admitted to being “confused by the loudness of the dislike” for The Canyons, a movie he wrote for director Paul Schrader (who wrote Taxi Driver and is a credible director in his own right) which stars Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen.

He added: "I think that the hatred for the movie is disproportionate to the movie itself. And I don't know if Lindsay brings something to that. I don't know if casting James did something, or if I'm such a polarizing figure."

Apparently inspired by E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie has been widely panned and turned down by both the SXSW and Sundance film festivals over “quality issues”. There are also rumors that Lohan’s behavior while filming continued to be erratic. It sounds like a strange project, even down to how it was funded.

It was partly funded by a Kickstarter campaign, through which they ultimately raised about $200,000. The suckers, err, contributors who gave $5,000 got the chance to have Bret Easton Ellis review their novel.

You can read the first of these reviews now, for Pablo D’Stair's novel Regard.

I’m not sure I’ll go out of my way to see this one, but I’m always intrigued when something like this happens. Is it really that bad? Maybe, maybe not. Will you be looking for it?

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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rmatthewsimmons's picture
rmatthewsimmons from Salt Lake City, UT is reading I just put down 'A Game of Thrones' after 6 chapters....Couldn't do it. August 9, 2013 - 10:04am

I have to admit that was a big BEE fan (both the books and movie adaptations) back when I was in college in the early 90's. But haven't really found his voice of late to be all that appealing as he seems a bit out of touch with things sadly enough.

Perhaps this is just most of our fates as we grow older and 'unhip' or whatever.

And I have no interest at all in seeing this film....


The Children of the Sun, Book One

Jennifer Siletzky's picture
Jennifer Siletzky August 9, 2013 - 11:55am

I agree, his newer books have, well... there was a certain touch of weirdness and the unsettling in American Psycho, Less than Zero, and Rules of Attraction, and this wonderful nihilism that made it feel more real than supernatural.... but now there's too much of a supernatural element and a lack of character depth that I just find myself confused and uninterested in his novels.  Glamorama I gave away quickly in hopes of forgetting.  However, I have problems with letting go so I'm probably going to see the film praying he returns to his roots.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things August 9, 2013 - 12:33pm

I wonder if any terrible authors donated so they could get reviewed. That would be awkward.

"Uh, thanks for the $5,000, but your book is really bad. Truly. I'm in awe of how poorly this book was written. Again, thanks for the money, but I would have paid you your money back just to keep you from showing this to me."

Colin Andrew MacDougall's picture
Colin Andrew Ma... from Suburbia is reading The Brothers Karamazov August 9, 2013 - 2:37pm

It's sadly underwhelming. I went in optimistic. I came out bleak, much like what is attempting to be portrayed. Maybe it's successful as a result of that?

Watch it if you want, but sadly it just has nothing to hold itself together. Too long at the start and too rushed at the end for a proper explanation of anything. Like why you should care. At all.

Mitchell Flanagan's picture
Mitchell Flanagan from Newburgh, New York is reading The Dubliners by James Joyce August 15, 2013 - 1:22am

I actually really enjoyed the movie and I'm not just saying that because I'm a big Ellis fan. I also helped fund the movie. The movie is a really good movie.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated August 15, 2013 - 2:50pm

I thought the film was okay. Okay like not turn it from cable if you are vegging out on the couch, but not pay a buck to rent a Redbox.