Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Canyons: A Cool 60s Grindhouse Thowback Mirror of Hollywood

It doesn't take place in the 60s. It's modern day. But the style of the film is totally retro. It's grindhouse. I'd love to hear Tarantino's take on it. And if he hates it, I still love it.  We see Deen's character arc from bad to worse. And Lindsay's from scared to petrified. We see a world of people who live for money.  There is back stabbing, cruelty, cheating, and perversion. Yet there is love and romance amidst it all. But in the end the bad stuff extinguishes the good. This is true Hollywood with a true real Hollywood end. It's not the fairy tale people want to be lulled into complacency by.

And the music is great. Son of Perdition (featuring Rob James) sounds like a 60s Lee Hazelwood. The rest of Brendan Canning & me&john's soundtrack is great and hits that undercurrent of decayed Hollywood theaters, and decayed Hollywood people; topped of with classic Dum Dum Girls' Coming Down.

Yes, there are technical flaws, maybe. Or maybe it's just a casual style. There's stuff that an experienced contemporary filmmaker would look at and say, it's terrible, it's amateur. But is it really flawed or is it just that the viewer is so accustomed to homogenized perfect Barbie world tripe?  And that's part of the nostalgia. 60's films were like that; grungy, less than perfect. People didn't care. They just wanted to see the film, or maybe take their sex-mate to a drive in and get it on . And when was the last time a major Hollywood film was actually X rated? Today's world is so conservatively annal retentive about being political, fashionably, and financially perfect.

James Deen and Lindsay Lohan
When I watch this movie I look past all that perfection crap and I look at the meat of the matter, and I'm not talking about James Deen's wad or Lindsay's naked breasts. I'm talking about the story and the quality of the basic cinematic story aspects. Get past where you think the lighting isn't right, or there's something distracting in the background. That kind of critical thinking is based on what you expect a  movie to be. It's a perception,  based on media hype about what a film should look like. But that definition of is only technical excellence. You may like the Hangover series. They are technically perfect. I think they suck ass. The Canyons is an unusual film about the decay of Hollywood. Not just the physical decay of abandoned movie theaters.  But the decay of the people who make films who stoop to personal fulfillment over some kind of selfless contribution to film (In case you're from Hollywood, selfless means you don't care about your self, over some kind of greater good).

I think the plethora of critics coming out in droves with hate and disdain for this movie, actually fear what they see in the mirror. Do any of them find anything good to say? Obviously none of them were brought up to stay silent unless you have something nice to say to people (neither was I). And that's why this movie is their mirror. If you believe something is bad and you tell others it's bad, then it's perceived as bad.

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