Desire, derailed: Schrader’s The Canyons (2013) – a lesson on the gaze in times of digital distraction


These shots from the dinner conversation in Paul Schraders „The Canyons“ (USA 2013) – in fact the very first four shots of the whole film (after the credit sequence) – should be enough to prove the film’s yet unacknowledged precision. Four people, seemingly talking to each other. But who is facing who? What shot belongs to which reverse shot? Suture undone. Instead of each other, everyone faces the film machine, with the exception of our dark hero. He faces yet another apparatus: the mobile phone in his hand. Refracted desire.

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