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William Friedkin - Interviews

William Friedkin


Edited by Christopher Lane
Series: Conversations with Filmmakers Series

Hardcover : 9781496827098, 194 pages, March 2020
Paperback : 9781496827081, 194 pages, March 2020

Collected interviews with the Academy Award–winning director of the critically and commercially successful films The French Connection and The Exorcist


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 Through previously unpublished and obscure interviews and seminars, the story of William Friedkin’s work and life is woven together into a candid and concise impression for cinephiles,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.


"This book is a must-read for fans of The Exorcist, but also Friedkin’s other films, especially Sorcerer, Cruising, and The French Connection, which come up again and again. William Friedkin: Interviews is a fascinating look into the way this brilliant filmmaker thinks. "

- Ryan C. Bradley,

"William Friedkin: Interviews is an enjoyable recapitulation of two of Friedkin’s most beloved films as well as two of his most contentious offerings."

- Nicholas Bell, IONCINEMA