Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist Review: The Director Revisits His Horror Classic in a New Light

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist Review: The Director Revisits His Horror Classic in a New Light
Always bold to some degree, seldom less than ambitious, William Friedkin’s career as a filmmaker has seen countless awards won; box offices records broken; and left us with more than a few classics. While the director can tell a story behind the camera, he’s also a knowledgeable, entertaining personality in front of one. Gifted with a voice worthy of sports broadcasting, he manages to appear even larger than his resume–in the same way his contemporary Peter Bogdanovich often does, another director who kept a foot in both “New Hollywood” and the gilded past of cinema history. Yet Friedkin is perhaps the only filmmaker so intrinsically linked with both the birth of New Hollywood and, unwittingly, with its ideological demise.

This irresistible combo of charisma, auteurism, and historical clout has inspired a number of documentary filmmakers in recent years. Francesco Zippel’s 2018 movie Friedkin Uncut provided a rollicking career overview,
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