The unsung genius of William Friedkin

One of the great unsung American directors is no doubt William Friedkin ("The French Connection," "The Exorcist," "Sorcerer," "To Live and Die in L.A"). The filmmker had a mini comeback of sorts with 2006's "Bug," but, especially, 2011's masterful "Killer Joe," two shockers that pushed the boundaries of tension in American cinema. I was hoping that set of films could be a rejuvenation of sorts for the 82-year-old director but, alas, it never came. The fact that both those movies were all but ignored upon release has made it rather difficult for him to find the sufficient funding for his next cinematic endeavor. 

It's been 6 years since "Killer Joe" was released but  he has nothing really planned, at least in terms of fiction. His latest non-fiction venture, "The Devil and Father Amortha," had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this past September. The film is the story of Father Gabriele Amortha's and picks up as he's about to perform his ninth exorcism on an Italian woman. 

Friedkin's films have aged like fine wine, have you recently spoken to a person that can't stop raving about "To Live and Die In L.A." I know I have. However, despite his imprint on cinema with "The Exorcist" and " The French Connection" back to back, he followed those up with what many now consider to be the unsung masterpeice of 1970's American cinema: "Sorcerer." His 1977 thriller starred Roy Scheiderand was considered a remake of the 1953 film The Wages of Fear - Despite Friedkin heavily disagreeing with this assessment in "The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir."

Regardless, this timeless movie about greed, almost a spiritual sequel to "Treasure of the Sierra Madre," was set in South America and had four men, on the run from the law, offered $10,000 and legal citizenship if they transport a shipment of dangerous nitroglycerin 200 miles away. Suffice to say, the hazardous journey includes rocky roads, guerilla attacks and, of course, unstable bridges.

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