William Friedkin, the legendary director of “THE EXORCIST”, “THE CRUISING”, “THE FRENCH CONNECTION” signed his memoir “THE FRIEDKIN CONNECTION”, and one of my all-time favorite directors at the Book Soup the Sunset boulevard bookstore that caters “To The Greatest and The Infamous” on Monday July 22 at 7 pm.
Highlights of his speech and the Q and A that followed in the crowded Book Soup were:
- He always wanted to direct a musical (he mentioned among his all time favourites “Singing In The Rain”. That's why he directed 15 operas all over the world, from Vienna to Los Angeles downtown.He decided he wanted to be a film director watching "Citizen Cain" by Orson Welles.
- He cast actor Fernando Rey by accident. A lucky accident that was.
- Hollywood's Golden era were the 1940's and not the 1970's where he, Copolla, Spielberg and other directors of his generation were constantly threatened with being fired and replaced from the studios. When Friedkin was asked to replace the “Francis” in a feature film he simple hung up on the studio executive.
- “The Exorcist” comes out soon with 2 hours (two hours) of pretty scary extra material and footage as a special 40th anniversary DVD and Blu Ray edition.
- Friedkin also praised Mikael Heineke as a true artist and visionary director.
- He's not rehearsing with actors. He has another method of helping them calibrate their perfomances on the silver screen.
- Friedkin also explained why he cast Juno Temple instead of Jennifer Lawrence in "Killer Joe”.
- He talked about editing, research the New York Police Department real detectives, upon “THE CRUISING” with Al Pacino , and “THE FRENCH CONNECTION”, were based.
- That he believes in God's teachings and constantly reads Bible and all about Christ but he's constantly outraged from the golden-spooned Vatican industry of religion. He draw the comparison between Christ, a plain-clothed guy with sandals, and the Vatican. He is not a Catholic. William Peter Blatty, the author of “The Exorcist” was.
- He explained in details how he intended to do a simple horror film for “THE EXORCIST” and how this turned to a masterpiece when thanks to his friendship with a priest, a file with real life possessed men and women were handed to him.