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Entries in William Friedkin (7)

Wednesday
Apr252018

Doc Corner: William Friedkin's 'The Devil and Father Amorth'

By Glenn Dunks

It’s becoming more common for directors known for fictional narrative cinema to work in the documentary medium as well. Not all of them land as successfully as, say, Ava DuVernay who managed a Best Documentary nomination at the Oscars as her first nod, despite previous critically acclaimed narrative features including even a Best Picture nominee. Documentary is, after all, just another form of building a narrative. There’s no real reason why telling a story in that form ought to be any different to building one around real people and real locations.

The Devil and Father Armoth, now in limited release and available on digital platforms, isn't William Friedkin's first documentary. He's made short docs like 2007’s The Painter’s Voice, 1985’s Putting it Together: The Making of the Broadway Album for Barbra Streisand, and the feature-length Conversations with Fritz Lang. That latter example, a 1975 film, followed Friedkin’s one-two-three narrative punch of The Boys in the Band, The French Connection and The Exorcist.

The filmmaker and his subject

The Exorcist remains his most famous film and also lays the groundwork for The Devil and Father Amorth...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May252017

10th Anniversary: BUG

By Dancin' Dan

Ten years ago right about now, William Friedkin's adaptation of Tracy Letts's play Bug opened in theaters, introducing most of America to Michael Shannon and gifting Ashley Judd with the best part of her career. Unfortunately, though, Bug was marketed as a body horror movie from the director of The Exorcist, which is... not what it is. At all...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr212016

Cannes Announces Its Critics' Week and Classics Selections

Cinephiles across the globe collectively held their breaths last week wondering whether the new Olivier Assayas or Lucretia Martel would make it onto the 2016 Croisette – his did, hers didn’t – as Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux unspooled the Competition, Un Certain Regard, Midnight Screenings, and Outside Competition line-ups. As if the promise of new adventures with Almodóvar, Dolan, and Park Chan-Wook weren’t enough, the recent announcements of the Critics’ Week and Cannes Classics sidebars present a whole host of new gems and old treasures to discover.

Let’s start with Critics’ Week, where a coterie of freshmen and sophomore directors compete for their own Nespresso Grand Prize. That would make this the branded stadium for spring-boarding international talents, such as Iñárritu (Amores Perros), Wong Kar-Wai (As Tears Go By), as well as Andrea Arnold and Jeff Nichols who are contending in the Main Competition this year with American Honey and Loving, respectively. The Critics Week features competition includes a number of films that examine schisms in national identities, and a closing selection of shorts featuring the directorial debut of human mystery box Chloe Sevigny. And speaking of people that could always be lurking over your shoulder; this is where David Robert Mitchell’s sexually transmitted horror film It Follows debuted back in 2014.

Critics’ Week 

  • Albüm – directed by Mehmet Can Mertoğlu (Turkey)
  • Diamond Island – directed by Davy Chou (Cambodia/France)
  • Raw – directed by Julia Ducournau (France)
  • Mimosas – Oliver Laxe (France)
  • One Week And A Day – directed by Asaph Polonsky (Israel)
  • Tramontane – directed by Vatche Boulghourjian (Lebanon)
  • A Yellow Bird – directed by K. Rajagopal (Singapore)

    Opening Night: In Bed with Victoria - directed by Justine Triet (France) 

Cannes Classics
The festival also hosts restored films from the international canon. This year they'll feature honors for documentarian and institutional excavator Frederick Wiseman, as well as a master class with raconteur and all-around mayday man William Friedkin. In addition to that Friedkin talk, Cannes Classics will screen the divisive Sorcerer, his 1977 remake of Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear – a film that sets a long fuse for a series of gut-wrenching flare-ups, a rattling exercise in tension. Ivory’s Howard’s End, Parts 5 and 6 of Kieślowski’s Decalogue, Gordard’s current repertory release Masculin feminine, and a bunch of other exciting classics will remind us why we were drawn to the cinema in the first place.

Any ideas how we could all split the cost of a yacht to the south of France this year?

Saturday
Mar192016

Tweetweek: "I'm not one of your fans!" 

You know what's weird? I kind of miss Amy Adams. I was so exhausted by her in recent years with all the Hollywood Report roundtables and the easy awards track even for minor work that was forgotten instantly (Big Eyes anyone?). But the year off as well at that recent David O. Russell confessional has made the heart grow fond again. Funny how that can happen. See also Cate Blanchett's short break some years ago.

Which is why we'll start with Amy for this week's collection of a dozen favorite tweets. Tweets featuring A History of Violence, Carol, Vertigo, political hilarity, Joan Crawford and drag queens are after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr282013

Hot Docs: Interior. Leather Bar.

Reports from the 2013 Hot Docs Film Festival

Paolo here. Because I tend to overreact to thing I proclaimed that last year's Hot Docs film festival here in Toronto was 'overtly sexual'! As it turns out, last year's crop had more diverse topics: death, culture, loss, legacy. And the same can be said about the documentaries this year but we won't abandon the docs about sex. Here's one now, James Franco's Interior. Leather Bar.

[NSFW Franco provocations after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec302012

Did You Gag on "Killer Joe"?

My screenings these past two weeks -- cram session! -- to complete year end business, have been like one wild tonal shift after another swinging as they have from meta rib-nudging (Seven Psycopaths) to the hormonally twee (Take This Waltz), severely depressed (Oslo August 31st) and on through the defiantly stiff and self-medicated (The Deep Blue Sea)... I can't possibly write about them all. But I did feel the night to blurt out (choke out?) a few sentences on William Friedkin's Killer Joe based on the play of the same name by Tracy Letts.

Friedkin and Letts aren't quite joined at the hip as collaborators go despite the Oscar winning filmmaker taking the cinematic reigns on both Bug and Joe. Letts most acclaimed play August: Osage County went to another filmmaker though it's fascinating to think what Friedkin might have done with the material. He is, after all, at least as willing as Letts to attack his material with edgy flair, wicked humor and artistic abandon... for better and worse.

[NC17 madness and two SPOILER images after the jump]

Click to read more ...