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Quoted: Paul Schrader on Lindsay Lohan and Marilyn Monroe

Lohan at a 2010 court appearance. (David McNew / Getty Images)

“It is the lack of this control that gives [them] their unique attraction. We sense that the actress is not performing, that we are watching life itself. We call them ‘troubled,’ ‘tormented,’ ‘train wrecks’— but we can’t turn away. . . They get under our skin in a way that controlled performers can’t.”


— Director Paul Schrader in a surprisingly sympathetic take in Film Comment on Lindsay Lohan — the star of his most recent movie, “The Canyons,” which had a notoriously troubled shoot, thanks to the notoriously troubled starlet. (Then again, he does have a movie to promote, doesn’t he?) He compares Lohan’s life and work to that of Marilyn Monroe and deems her more talented, though “like Monroe, her weakness is her inability to fake it. She feels she must be experiencing an emotion in order to play it.” But Monroe had the advantage of coming up in an era when stars were expected to be “serious,” and in exchange were protected by the studio system — whereas Lohan’s celebrity culture requires no responsibility and offers no protection from the media or the courts. It’s an interesting thesis, go read it: Shooting Stars; Lindsay Lohan’s ongoing celebrity-culture psychodrama doesn’t eclipse her unique talent

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