Never mind the Oscar nominations, here’s some Hollywood dirt

It’s the height of awards season: Oscar nominations came out this week, and the Golden Globes are tonight. The various guilds are handing out their awards. It’s a time when the film industry seeks to celebrate the craft that goes into moviemaking and give Daniel Day-Lewis more stuff for his mantel.

You know you want to read this.

But never mind all that. Today’s New York Times Magazine features a cover story that’s a ringside view of a less lofty side of filmmaking in Hollywood. A tale of naked desperation and colorful bad behavior — i.e., the story of  how  writer-director Paul Schrader cast Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen in a microbudget feature… and, as the subhead puts it, what could possibly go wrong?

Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie

As I read the story, I had to remember that Paul Schrader’s writing career began with a scholarly tome on the films of Ozu, Dreyer and Bresson, before he went on to write Taxi Driver and The Last Temptation of Christ for Martin Scorsese and direct his own films. Now here he is in his mid 60s, fighting to keep his career going and willing to strip naked in front of Lindsay Lohan and his crew to do it. (This is the New York Times Magazine, so I assume all of the details have been fact-checked.)

The story makes clear that, as if we didn’t already know, the movie business is impossible to satirize. (Not that that will probably keep Bret Easton Ellis from trying.) It’s a sensationally entertaining piece, but also instructive: every aspiring filmmaker in the country should read it… and pray that nothing like this ever happens to them.

2 thoughts on “Never mind the Oscar nominations, here’s some Hollywood dirt

  1. I think the backstory is instructive also. If you step back and read between the lines, the behavior of both Schrader and Deen, on set, on and off what was recorded and their treatment of Lindsay Lohan is humiliating if not outright abusive.

    I just read a twitter feed from Todd Michael Schultz ‏(@ToddMikeSchultz) …I believe he is the young 26 year old partner of Bret Easton Ellis.

    The tweet reads “JamesDeen is a star in TheCanyonsFilm ..and he beats lindsaylohan”

    and he hashtags this as “#BDSMisAWESOME”

    James Deen’s work at kinkdotcom is gang rape, public disgrace of women, torture, beating, choking, waterboarding “bdsm” sex culture stuff. This guy describes himself as a sadist. Deen also brought one of his gang rape friends from kink, Danny Wylde, to help with the nude scenes with Lohan on The Canyons. Wylde does both straight and gay porn. It could not have been easy for Lohan to work on this film.

    And it looks like Schrader jumps right in with the humiliation, degredation and sadism. Both Deen and Schrader finally got to slam Lohan into the wall onto the ground – that will teach her to be bratty. Atrocious IMHO.

    • Thanks for this comment — it’s a good reminder that we shouldn’t be too quick to take a “Ha ha, look at the poor messed-up celebrity” attitude to this article. The only thing I would add is that in the NYT Magazine story, James Deen is characterized as the ‘boy next door porn star,’ i.e., naughty but basically harmless. But a profile of him in the July 2012 issue of GQ is much more troubling, and makes his adult movies sound mighty creepy, if not disgusting.

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