The Directors - William Friedkin

ISBN 13: 9781572528666

The Directors - William Friedkin

 
9781572528666: The Directors - William Friedkin
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William Friedkin has directed seventeen feature films, all of which have inspired audiences in one way or another. Friedkin has never been one to shy away from controversial material as evidenced by films such as The Exorcist, The French Connection, Cruising, Jade, Blue Chips and Rules of Engagement. Actors and collaborators that reminisce about working with this Academy Award winning director include David Caruso, Michael Biehn, Linda Fiorentino and Chazz Palminteri.

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Review:

This edition of The Directors is a mixed blessing, but it's refreshing for the candid manner in which William Friedkin assesses his own career. Having once aspired to a pro basketball career, Friedkin saw Citizen Kane and was inspired to pursue filmmaking. Of course, the Oscar-winning director of The French Connection and The Exorcist can claim his own phenomenal successes, but this kid-gloved program glosses over Friedkin's subsequent fall from Hollywood grace following the commercial and critical failure of Sorcerer, his ambitious remake of the French classic The Wages of Fear.

Given such a lightweight treatment of Friedkin's volatile career, interview clips offer adequate compensation. Once maligned as a megalomaniac, Friedkin is seen here (during the production of his 1995 thriller Jade) as an engaging subject, allowing that The Exorcist is "the one film I've made that could be called something of a classic," and chiding current Hollywood films for offering little more than "easy answers to easy questions." Friedkin discusses highlights from his best films (including the awesome chases in The French Connection and To Live and Die in L.A.), and concedes that while directing is "a young man's game," he still enjoys the challenge. Additional interviews include fawning sound-bites from Jade co-stars David Caruso, Chazz Palmintieri, and Linda Fiorentino, but the list of absentees is nothing if not conspicuous. Friedkin may have alienated many of his past collaborators, but this talented filmmaker has clearly mellowed (he's been married since 1991 to studio executive Sherry Lansing), and filmgoers can only hope his considerable talent enjoys a latter-day revival. --Jeff Shannon

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