The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir

The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir

William Friedkin

Language: English

Pages: 512

ISBN: 0061775126

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The long-awaited memoir from the Academy Award–winning director of such legendary films as The French Connection, The Exorcist, and To Live and Die in LA, The Friedkin Connection takes readers from the streets of Chicago to the suites of Hollywood and from the sixties to today, with autobiographical storytelling as fast-paced and intense as any of the auteur's films.

William Friedkin, maverick of American cinema, offers a candid look at Hollywood, when traditional storytelling gave way to the rebellious and alternative; when filmmakers like him captured the paranoia and fear of a nation undergoing a cultural nervous breakdown.

The Friedkin Connection includes 16 pages of black-and-white photographs.
















long narrow staircase to two gatekeepers, who checked IDs and enforced the dress code. Our names were on a list, and Wally came over to greet us. He escorted us to an area where indeed we had to strip down to our jock straps, shoes, and socks. Uncle Mort had a .38 strapped to his right ankle, concealed in his sock. Everyone was in a jock strap, some with leather boots and vests, executioner masks or leather jackets. Men of all races, colors, and social status mingled as equals. Black walls.

coaster. Let me share the ride with you, and illuminate, with the help of the fireflies, how my films were conceptualized, shot, edited, and marketed, and how I came to direct operas without ever having seen one. Life is lived forward, but can only be understood backward. PART I FIRST IMPRESSIONS 1 CHICAGO My DNA suggested no hint of success at anything. My parents and grandparents came from Kiev in the Ukraine during a pogrom in the first years of the twentieth century. In

isn’t “playing,” what’s too long or too short, and I often act on their advice. They created a sound track for The French Connection that I think makes the picture. Sometimes total silence is more effective than a loud explosion. When we came to the final shot, where Popeye runs along an empty corridor in the abandoned building on Welfare Island and disappears, the music was quiet and slightly schizophrenic. After I’d seen the rough cut hundreds of times, an inspiration came to me. I turned to

Peter Blatty. The book had a curious cover photograph of what appeared to be the face of a young girl taken from an odd high angle, top-lit, with dark eyes, staring into the distance. The dedication was “For Beth,” followed by a page of quotations: From Luke (8:27–30), referring to Jesus’s confrontation with a man possessed by a devil, who said his name was Legion; an excerpt from an FBI wiretap of the Cosa Nostra, referring to the brutal murder of a man; and finally, a vivid quote from Dr. Tom

volume, something shrill would come out, a high tenor, with no authority behind it. We went to Max’s dressing room. Unlike those of most star actors, his room was sparse—no photographs, no drawings, no memorabilia of any kind. It wasn’t so much a comfort zone as a monk’s retreat. “Max,” I said, “we’ve reached the point where I don’t know how to finish this scene. I’m willing to ask Ingmar Bergman to come in and direct it.” Max shook his head. “No, no,” he said. “It’s not a matter of Bergman.

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