Lindsay LohanCharley Gallay/WireImage

Paul Schrader has a slew of classic American films under his belt: He wrote "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," and the adaptation of "The Last Temptation of Christ"; and he wrote and directed "American Gigolo," with Richard Gere. However, it's been a while since he's faced as much controversy as his latest Kickstarter-backed film project, "The Canyons," has stirred up. Starring Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen and based on a script by Bret Easton Ellis, "The Canyons" has already been the subject of a lengthy New York Times Magazine feature about its behind-the-scenes drama.

Perhaps in anticipation of its release next month, Schrader contributed a short, thoughtful piece about his star to Film Comment, the magazine published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. (The magazine also features an interview with Schrader about the movie itself.) In the essay, Schrader compares Lohan to Marilyn Monroe, both in their excesses ("tardiness, unpredictability, tantrums, absences, neediness, psychodrama") and their ability, but gives Lohan the edge when it comes to "natural acting talent."

Like Monroe, however, "[Lohan's] weakness is her inability to fake it," he writes. "She feels she must be experiencing an emotion in order to play it." That's what causes all the on-set drama, he continues, seemingly in anticipation of the flurry of articles sure to come about what happened during the making of "The Canyons."

Schrader concludes, "A director can shoot around misbehavior. He can't shoot around lack of charisma." Anyone who's watched Lohan act in "A Prairie Home Companion" or, yes, "Mean Girls" knows she's got it in her. Perhaps Schrader will be the one to remind the world at large -- and Lohan herself.

[via Film Comment]
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