Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

8 Established Filmmakers Who Reinvented Themselves With Risky Low-Budget Efforts

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • August 1, 2013 3:57 PM
  • |
  • 12 Comments
This Friday will see the VOD release of Paul Schrader's much talked about "The Canyons," a film both inspired by and conceived for the post-theatrical era (though it will receive a limited theatrical run starting out in NYC and Toronto). The film, which revolves around a toxic producer (adult star James Deen) and his girlfriend (Lindsay Lohan), is a collaboration between "American Psycho" author/enfant terrible Bret Easton Ellis and "Taxi Driver" scribe Schrader, whose directorial career includes "American Gigolo" and "Affliction." After the duo failed to get a studio-financed shark attack movie off the ground, they decided to pursue something on a smaller scale that would required fewer gatekeepers. Schrader's email to Ellis read, "Enough of this. Let's just do something ourselves. The economics are right. You write it, I'll direct it, we'll pay for it, and we'll make cinema for the post-theatrical era." And so "The Canyons" was born.

Listen: William Friedkin Talks Clashing With Bernard Herrmann, Making 'French Connection' & More On 'The Treatment'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
  • |
  • June 12, 2013 10:45 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
One of the foremost cinematic raconteurs that continues to create compelling works for discussion, director William Friedkin most recently scored a modest hit and showcase for Matthew McConaughey with “Killer Joe,” and oversaw a restoration of his 1977 suspense drama “Sorcerer.” Friedkin compiled many anecdotes from within and outside the film world for his memoir, “The Friedkin Connection,” and in a radio discussion with Elvis Mitchell, he hinted at some of the contents.

William Friedkin Talks Losing Perspective, Meeting Devil-Worshipers Shooting 'The Exorcist' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • April 30, 2013 12:27 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
There are few cinematic ranconteurs as engaging as William Friedkin. Candid and filled with a career's worth of stories from the perspective of a filmmaker who has seen the industry change from the freewheeling '70s to the belt-tightening, tentpole focus of today, Friedkin's perspective is unique. And with his new memoir “The Friedkin Connection,” he's put down a lifetime of wisdom into one must read volume, but of course, there's always more and the director recently chatted with The New York Times and shared a few more fascinating morsels, reflecting on his own ego, stories from shooting "The French Connection," "The Exorcist" and more.

William Friedkin's Restored 'Sorcerer' Getting A Re-Release, Aiming For The Venice Film Festival

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 21, 2013 6:01 PM
  • |
  • 11 Comments
As William Friedkin spent most of last year on the promo circuit for his deliciously raw "Killer Joe," one frequent question he fielded was about the fate of his 1997 flick "Sorcerer." The film has been in mired in some complex legal stuff, but as Friedkin himself told us last year: " I sued Universal and Paramount to determine who owns the rights because they claimed both studios through their legal affairs department claimed they didn't own the rights and I don't know what's happened, I think it has fallen between the cracks. So I'm suing these guys to save the afterlife of the film." And it looks like the tactic worked (though he dropped the suit). Last month, he promised the film would be getting a digital transfer, and now a full blown release is on the way.

Berlin Interview: Nicolas Cage Explains Why 'Wicker Man' Is Misunderstood, His Career Choices & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • February 20, 2013 12:23 PM
  • |
  • 14 Comments
With “The Croods,” an animated family film from DreamWorks (our review here), premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival, lead voice actor Nicolas Cage was in town over the weekend, and we got to speak with him in a small group of journalists. About the experience of working on the film itself (“It’s like ‘Avatar’ meets ‘Yellow Submarine’ with these people who look like Neanderthals” he summed up) he had nothing but good things to say: “I feel like this is the best chance I’ve had to perform in an animated movie.” But he was also frank and forthcoming about other areas of his working life.

Nicolas Cage Says 'I Am Wrath' With William Friedkin Is Not Happening, Reveals Dream Project With Roger Corman

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • February 19, 2013 11:04 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
While his decision making process still remains somewhat inscrutable, the undeniably talented Nicolas Cage always defies expectation. Undoubtedly, we're excited for his pairing with David Gordon Green on the thriller "Joe," which the director told us at Sundance was "a slow-burn, dark, heavy movie." And last fall, when he signed up for the awesomely titled "I Am Wrath" with William Friedkin slated to direct, it was another project that showed that the actor was perhaps returning to the kind of material of his early career highlights.

William Friedkin Says 'Sorcerer' Finally Getting Digital Transfer, But Won't Be On Criterion

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
  • |
  • February 12, 2013 10:01 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
2012 proved by turns an odd and triumphant year for director William Friedkin, who fashioned Matthew McConaughey's performance in the shockingly good “Killer Joe,” but also was forced into dealing with his troubled past, namely the 1977 suspense drama “Sorcerer.” Legal difficulties and lawsuits surrounding the film have plagued the past 12 months for the filmmaker, but now it appears Friedkin may finally gain some peace with his underseen gem.

William Friedkin To Direct Nicolas Cage In Thriller 'I Am Wrath'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • September 11, 2012 2:35 PM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Update 10/01: Deadline confirms this is really, and truly, happening

James Franco Has Sort-Of-Remade William Friedkin's 'Cruising' For An Art Project

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • August 22, 2012 10:25 AM
  • |
  • 28 Comments
Is it just us who find it increasingly hard to get enthused about James Franco's new projects? We appreciate his broad-mindedness; the way he can go from blockbusters like "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" to cheap action movies like the Jason Statham vehicle "Homefront" to indies like "About Cherry" to his own experimental directorial efforts like "Sal." But it's partly the sheer volume of the announcements -- with something new coming every few days, seemingly -- and partly how obscure some of them sound, that's given us something close to Franco fatigue.

The Essentials: The 5 Best William Friedkin Films

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • July 30, 2012 12:00 PM
  • |
  • 15 Comments
The decent opening weekend for the NC-17 "Killer Joe" should be celebrated for a number of reasons, but perhaps most notably, it marks something of a comeback for director William Friedkin. The helmer was, for a brief period in the 1970s, the most powerful filmmaker in Hollywood, but a series of critical and commercial flops after "The Exorcist" saw his stock drop quickly, and while there were a few quiet gems, the quality of his work tended to be closer to sub-"Basic Instinct" erotic thriller "Jade" (which Friedkin has said is one of his favorite of his films, curiously), or tree-rape horror "The Guardian," than to his breakout films.

Email Updates

Recent Comments