William Friedkin: Interviews

Front Cover
Christopher Lane
University Press of Mississippi, 2020 - Performing Arts - 194 pages

Academy Award-winning director William Friedkin (b. 1935) is best known for his critically and commercially successful films The French Connection and The Exorcist. Unlike other film school-educated filmmakers of the directors' era, Friedkin got his start as a mailroom clerk at a local TV station and worked his way up to becoming a full-blown Hollywood filmmaker by his thirties. His rapid rise behind the camera from television director to Oscar winner came with self-confidence and unorthodox methods. Known for his gritty and auteurist style, Friedkin's films tell the story of a changing America upended by crime, hypocrisy, the occult, and amorality. Although his subsequent films achieved varying levels of success, his cultural impact is undeniable.

William Friedkin: Interviews collects fifteen articles, interviews, and seminars spanning Friedkin's career. He discusses early influences, early successes, awards, and current projects. The volume provides coverage of his directorial process, beliefs, and anecdotes from his time serving as the creative force of some of the biggest films of the 1970s and beyond--from his early days in Chicago, to his run-ins with Alfred Hitchcock, to firing guns on set and witnessing an actual exorcism in Italy. Through previously unpublished and obscure interviews and seminars, the story of William Friedkin's work and life is woven together into a candid and concise impression for cinephiles, horror junkies, and aspiring filmmakers alike. Readers will gain insight into Friedkin's genius from his own perspectives and discover the thoughts and processes of a true maverick of American cinema.

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About the author (2020)

Christopher Lane is an acclaimed film and television writer, director, and producer. He is also an award-winning educator and lecturer, film and media curriculum developer for various educational institutions, and former film production program coordinator. He regularly sits on national and international film and arts discussion panels and film festival juries and currently curates and archives a large silent film ephemera and materials collection intended for exhibition.

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