William Friedkin: "I’ve seen the future of American Cinema and his name is Damien Chazelle."

Director William Friedkin has taken a page out of Jon Landau's book of prophecies and kickstarted a campaign for "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle to be the savior of cinema. At least that's what I've gather from his worshipful praise of the 31 year-old writer director.

William Friedkin on ‘La La Land’ Director: Damien Chazelle

"I’ve seen the future of American Cinema and his name is Damien Chazelle. At the age of 31 and on the basis of his last two feature films, he’s a master storyteller in total command of his craft and with an uncanny ability to surprise an audience, with each gesture, each moment, each frame. In an industry dominated by CGI, his films have a handmade quality and are not only unique as technical achievements with stunning visuals, but moving as an emotional experience as well. That’s a rare combination today. His direction of actors is so skilled it’s invisible, as his actors seem inseparable from their roles. “Whiplash” is a drama with music and “La La Land,” while it reminds us of the classic musicals of the past, is a totally original and relevant work for our time. By the way, and most important, these movies are filled with fun and joy. He’s been compared to Jacques Demy and Vincente Minnelli, two brilliant filmmakers to be compared to, but to me, his films are incomparable. He’s not simply a brilliant filmmaker, he happens to be a warm, modest, and engaging person with genuine humility. I mention this because these are rare traits among genius. Whatever the future of American cinema, whatever forms it takes, Damien Chazelle will be a major force in shaping it."
Then there's our boy Xavier Dolan, coming off a fairly horrifying Cannes where his "It's Only the End of the World" would have gotten the dishonorable title of worst film to ever play the competition if it weren't for a last-minute sprint from Director Sean Penn and his SAVE AFRICA! film "The Last Face." Dolan is right about Jackie, a powerfully moving meditation on Jackie O and American culture.

Xavier Dolan on 'Jackie' Director: Pablo Larrain

"I can’t think of a recent movie that’s filled me with ecstasy like “Jackie” did. It left me artistically intimidated and wonderstruck. Fragmental but never diffused, vaporous yet always precise, Pablo Larraín’s film is as organized as it is organic, and free. Over Mica Levi’s grand and disorienting score, the film plies between past and present, desperately looking for “Jackie O.” She isn’t hard to find. With great style and sensibility, Natalie Portman surpasses herself. From gait to inflexions, laughter to stillness, she redefines modern acting: sublimating the inherent opportunity of the role into something temerously mortal, she might as well die before our eyes, killing herself to exist, unendingly. Noah Oppenheim’s screenplay delivers her those earth-shattering moments of implosion, the tectonic plates of his smartly interwoven chronologies colliding perfectly, with Portman dancing and stumbling soddenly on the fault line. “Jackie” is distilled poetry, the story of a heartbreak, and the loss of ideals of a woman endowed with toxic power. Every shot, every outfit, every line, falls vertiginously in place with effortless virtuosity. I left “Jackie” with an urgent need to be better, to create indelible, lasting things. I often thought I’d burst into tears during the screening. It was only later that night that I realized that I wasn’t holding back tears of sadness, but those of wonderment for the talent of a group of extraordinary artists fighting for a bygone cinema anew. You can’t learn it. You can’t fake it. It can’t be right, it can’t be wrong. It can just be."

Source: Variety