A host of talent, directors, and more pay tribute to the career of William Friedkin in Francesco Zippel’s documentary, Friedkin Uncut.
Fresh off a Best Director win for The French Connection, the Chicago-born native would do to horror what Star Wars did to sci-fi. When The Exorcist premiered in 1973, audiences were lined up for the film like crazy. Because of its content, Quentin Tarantino’s mom forbid him from seeing the film.
Friedkin was born to Ukranian immigrants in Chicago. He never had a film school education unlike the rest of his generation. The director is living proof that you do not need to attend film school to find success. His first film, a documentary, led to a man seeing his life spared and later released from jail. It’s due to events like this that you should never underestimate the power of film! His career is one that’s given us The French Connection, The Exorcist, Sorcerer, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A., The Hunted, Bug, and Killer Joe.
“Acting and filmmaking are both professions,” Friedkin says of filmmaking. “It’s a job! Some schmuck who sits around here and says I’m an artist, he’s fucking crazy! Out of this work there can come art of course there has and there can, but it’s rare.”
What is the most interesting to me is how entertaining Friedkin can be in conversation. The director is quite comical to say the least. Vulgar at times but there is plenty of humor throughout the film. We get a full portrait of Friedkin thanks to what his colleagues and actors say about him. To make talent comfortable with nude scenes and whatnot, Friedkin would drop his pants as well.
Friedkin Uncut is an entertaining portrait of a versatile filmmaker that changed a generation.
DIRECTOR: Francesco Zippel
FEATURING: William Friedkin, Ellen Burstyn, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple, Wes Anderson, Dario Argento, Samuel Blumenfeld, Damien Chazelle, Francis Ford Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Caleb Deschanel, Randy Jurgensen, Philip Kaufman, Walon Green, Matthew McConaughey, Zubin Mehta, Antonio Mondo, Gianandrea Noseda, William Petersen, Michael Shannon, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright