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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: cigar joe on August 07, 2023, 02:40:13 PM

Title: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: cigar joe on August 07, 2023, 02:40:13 PM
R.I.P William Friedkin -  director of The French Connection, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A., Killer Joe and also The Exorcist.
Thanks for the memories.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: titoli on August 07, 2023, 09:25:43 PM
R.I.P.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: noodles_leone on August 08, 2023, 01:31:48 AM
Also Bug.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: T.H. on August 08, 2023, 01:22:09 PM
Friedkin was maybe the best ever in terms of combining a docudrama style with classic cinematic technique, or something like that. Only Fukasaku comes to mind as someone that could rival Friedkin in that regard. When Friedkin was on, my goodness was he ON. RIP to one of the greats.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: dave jenkins on August 08, 2023, 02:58:41 PM
Friedkin was maybe the best ever in terms of combining a docudrama style with classic cinematic technique, or something like that. Only Fukasaku comes to mind as someone that could rival Friedkin in that regard. When Friedkin was on, my goodness was he ON. RIP to one of the greats.
When I think of Friedkin I think of particular scenes rather than films: the car dismantling scene in French Connection, say, or the truck preparation scene in Sorcerer. His attention to detail with regard to way things actually work in the real world always impressed me. Fukasaku never had that (well, he never had the budgets for it).

R.I.P.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: T.H. on August 08, 2023, 03:20:56 PM
When I think of Friedkin I think of particular scenes rather than films: the car dismantling scene in French Connection, say, or the truck preparation scene in Sorcerer. His attention to detail with regard to way things actually work in the real world always impressed me. Fukasaku never had that (well, he never had the budgets for it).

R.I.P.
I was speaking, or writing, in terms of the frenetic energy in the way their movies were shot -- especially scenes with characters on the street or in seedy establishments. There's this handheld documentary style that feels completely improvised but also very controlled in a cinematic sense. I feel like Michael Ritchie could venture too far in that direction, where it sometimes draws attention to itself or doesn't really work. Paul Greengrass would be the extreme case where handheld camera work can be beyond awful.

I definitely see some Friedkin in Michael Mann, and I don't know if we get the safe cracking scene in Thief without Friedkin.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: Novecento on August 08, 2023, 06:07:37 PM
Sorcerer is so underrated.

I just bought the new Kino Lorber BD of To Live and Die in LA. It?s one of his films that I?ve never managed to see, so I?m looking forward to watching.

He has a nice autobiography: The Friedkin Connection.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: dave jenkins on August 09, 2023, 03:36:59 PM
I definitely see some Friedkin in Michael Mann, and I don't know if we get the safe cracking scene in Thief without Friedkin.
Really good point.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: noodles_leone on August 10, 2023, 03:00:03 AM
There's this handheld documentary style that feels completely improvised but also very controlled in a cinematic sense. I feel like Michael Ritchie could venture too far in that direction, where it sometimes draws attention to itself or doesn't really work. Paul Greengrass would be the extreme case where handheld camera work can be beyond awful.

I feel like Greengrass is the true heir here. Of course his handeld work is overdone and feels more artificial but he's trying to work in the same direction as Friedkin with it: make you feel the action, visceraly. The camera is just trying to capture what is going on, and it turns out what is going on is hectic so the cameraman seems to have no choice (of course it isn't the reality but this is what the camerawork makes you feel). Whereas Ritchie uses the camera as another character; the action may or may not be hectic but the camerawork is and is also the true center of the attention. So similar technic, very different philosophies... both of which can lead to terrible or great results.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: noodles_leone on August 10, 2023, 03:01:48 AM
Sorcerer is so underrated.

Sorcerer is considered as an ultimate masterpiece by so many filmgoers. It isn't famous, but among the cool moviegoers crowd, i'd say it's very much overrated by a bunch of fanatics. So: not known enough, overrated and great.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: dave jenkins on August 10, 2023, 03:51:09 AM
Sorcerer is considered as an ultimate masterpiece by so many filmgoers. It isn't famous, but among the cool moviegoers crowd, i'd say it's very much overrated by a bunch of fanatics. So: not known enough, overrated and great.
I'd buy that for a dollar.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: stanton on August 10, 2023, 03:54:57 AM
I still don't care much for Sorcerer, too many things do not really work in that film. It feels not well balanced. 6/10
I never cared for The Exorcist either. 6/10

The French Connection was for a short period one of my favourite films, but after watching Peckinpah, Penn, Melville, Leone, Coppolla it lost some of its appeal. Still his best film together with To Live and die in LA (the Miami Vice version of TFC). Both 8/10
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: T.H. on August 10, 2023, 08:25:44 AM
I feel like Greengrass is the true heir here. Of course his handeld work is overdone and feels more artificial but he's trying to work in the same direction as Friedkin with it: make you feel the action, visceraly. The camera is just trying to capture what is going on, and it turns out what is going on is hectic so the cameraman seems to have no choice (of course it isn't the reality but this is what the camerawork makes you feel). Whereas Ritchie uses the camera as another character; the action may or may not be hectic but the camerawork is and is also the true center of the attention. So similar technic, very different philosophies... both of which can lead to terrible or great results.
I really dislike Greengrass' style and overall filmmaking philosophy so I have to push back on that. He seems like he has zero plan on how to shoot a scene, so he just shakes the camera and edits way too much. I definitely respect Michael Ritchie, but I'm not one of those Ritchie truthers. His style has aged great in some ways and badly in others. Neither can compare to Friedkin, especially Greengrass.

I do agree with your take on Sorcerer. I like it a good deal, but I don't think it's a masterpiece, and you do have to wonder if it really needed to exist when the original is such a classic. I do think highly of it though.



I'll never understand all the love for Arthur Penn. I think my favorite thing he did was get fired from The Train.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jPWGEoyJHY

This is hysterical. I would have loved to have a few with Friedkin. He was hilarious.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: stanton on August 10, 2023, 12:54:52 PM
Actually it seems there is not much love any more for Penn nowadays, but he was capable to create brilliant scenes of a kind only a few could. And in his best years he tried to do things different. Which brought him often in conflict with the Hollywood system.
I'm pretty sure that The Train would have become a better film if Penn could have made the film in creative freedom. I rewatched it some months ago, and it is a good enough film, but far from great.

One reason I don't like TFC now as much as I did once, is that the film's realism (and it's style) feels now a bit contrived. And that even more in The Exorcist.
But I forgot to mention Cruising, which belongs also the Friedkin's best. None of his other films is really remarkable as far as I remember them. Not his more or less forgotten early films, not his later output.

Greengrass is interesting.

And Only God Forgives is an excellent film. Calling it a masterpiece is not a bad idea.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: T.H. on August 10, 2023, 06:11:21 PM
I need to give Night Moves another viewing. I feel like if there's a Penn movie that I would really like, it would have to be that one. I also owe Bonnie & Clyde another watch.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: dave jenkins on August 10, 2023, 07:04:43 PM
I need to give Night Moves another viewing. I feel like if there's a Penn movie that I would really like, it would have to be that one.
You are in luck because that film got one of the best transfers to Blu-ray ever. I'm not hot on the film, but I don't mind watching it when it looks so good.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: noodles_leone on August 11, 2023, 08:54:24 AM
I really dislike Greengrass' style and overall filmmaking philosophy so I have to push back on that. He seems like he has zero plan on how to shoot a scene, so he just shakes the camera and edits way too much.

Of course it's different, but i still think he was going for the same thing. The biggest difference beeing he probably shoots with like 5 cameras instead of 1. Which, you could argue, works, theoretically at least, with the Bourne universe (everybody being watched from everywhere so all those intercut long focal shots have a meaning here). I never disliked the shaky cam as much as many here, but I'm also never gonna put any of those shakycam filmmakers from the 2000's among the great ones. So I'm very soflty pushing back here.

@Stanton: the first rule of NWR is never trust a word this guy is uttering. He is always playing a role. We can only discuss his movies (and tv shows), not the guy or whatever he says, wherever it is.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: T.H. on August 11, 2023, 11:10:24 AM
DJ, I think I'm going to pick up Night Moves at some point. You sold me.

Of course it's different, but i still think he was going for the same thing. The biggest difference beeing he probably shoots with like 5 cameras instead of 1. Which, you could argue, works, theoretically at least, with the Bourne universe (everybody being watched from everywhere so all those intercut long focal shots have a meaning here). I never disliked the shaky cam as much as many here, but I'm also never gonna put any of those shakycam filmmakers from the 2000's among the great ones. So I'm very soflty pushing back here.

@Stanton: the first rule of NWR is never trust a word this guy is uttering. He is always playing a role. We can only discuss his movies (and tv shows), not the guy or whatever he says, wherever it is.

Maybe in the broadest of sense they were both going for the same thing, I guess. But that would be like saying T2 and insert shitty new age blockbuster were both trying to be grand spectacles of the summer blockbuster. Friedkin also had a very classic sense, and he may have combined the best of 70's new age docudrama filmmaking (for a lack of phrasing) with the humble, nuanced (invisible) classic Hollywood style. The way he used handheld was never showy in the way of a Ritchie, and especially a Greengrass, who took it to such a level that his movies lack any and all composition or planning. My take at least.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: noodles_leone on August 13, 2023, 09:19:51 AM
Friedkin also had a very classic sense, and he may have combined the best of 70's new age docudrama filmmaking (for a lack of phrasing) with the humble, nuanced (invisible) classic Hollywood style.

We can at least fully agree on that part.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: dave jenkins on August 14, 2023, 01:54:51 AM
I really, really like To Live And Die in LA, although it took me almost 35 years to realize it.

New disc: https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/a-few-words-about-tm-to-live-and-die-in-l-a-in-4k-uhd-blu-ray.379965/
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: Dust Devil on August 22, 2023, 10:15:52 AM
R.I.P.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: Novecento on August 26, 2023, 08:10:00 PM
Sorcerer is so underrated.

I just bought the new Kino Lorber BD of To Live and Die in LA. It?s one of his films that I?ve never managed to see, so I?m looking forward to watching.

He has a nice autobiography: The Friedkin Connection.

Wow. And there I was thinking Sorcerer + Tangerine Dream, and was missing out on To Live and Die in LA + Wang Chung. Plus, Robbie Muller sure did have a fantastic eye.
Title: Re: R.I.P William Friedkin
Post by: Novecento on November 20, 2023, 07:40:10 PM
I just watched Friedkin?s version of ?12 angry men?. Boy, was it good. I?ve seen the original, but I?d have to watch it again to do a fair comparison. Somehow this one feels almost better. The camera use in that one room is great.

What with Sorcerer (vs wages of fear), it seems like Friedkin had a rare talent to do a remake at least on par (if not even better) than the original.