Though he may no longer direct as much as we’d like, William Friedkin‘s “presence” is difficult to lose sight of. Along with a recent Blu-ray upgrade of Sorcerer and his stream of bizarrely formatted tweets, the director behind such classics as The Exorcist, The French Connection, and Jade (maybe not so much with the last one) hosted a master class at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. He gets a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema, we get a one-hour video. That seems fair.
If this covers much of the same ground you’ll find in many a “master class” — reflections on (in no particular order): influences, favorite films, career milestones, struggles, triumphs, digital, etc. — there’s the appeal of hearing it from a director who doesn’t always receive this sort of spotlight, save for their autobiography. (Consider this in opposition to contemporaries such as Scorsese, Spielberg, Lucas, et al.) The stories and viewpoints are one thing; what seals the deal is Friedkin being an incredibly engaging speaker — almost like your great uncle who’s seen it all.
Did Friedkin’s master class prove engaging? What are some of your favorites from him?