Empire Australasia - May 2018

(Kiana) #1


With tense-as-hell men-on-a
mission movie Sorcerer turning
40, director William Friedkin
talks us through its equally
nerve-racking creation

“the most dificult, frustrating and dangerous
ilm I’ve ever made”. Still, it had a happy ending
— after lopping on release, it has experienced
a critical re-evaluation and is widely regarded
as a masterpiece of action cinema. We spoke
to the legendary director about the experience,
and the surprising link between Sorcerer
and Brexit.

You probably already know this, but Stephen King
recently released a list of his favourite ilms and
Sorcerer was at number one.
I had heard that from the BFI. Stephen King
is a guy who really tries to keep in touch with
the culture and the zeitgeist. For him to say
that about Sorcerer is a tremendous

putting himself through the wringer. For the
iconic car chase in The French Connection, he
ilmed a stunt driver tearing down real streets at
145 kilometres per hour, without a permit,

a daredevil decision that could have backired
badly. The shoot for The Exorcist was so
troubled that rumours spread it had been cursed
by Satan himself. But rather than following those
projects with a romantic comedy set in the south
of France, Friedkin decided to embark on his
most ambitious and uncomfortable adventure
yet. A very loose re-imagining of Henri-Georges
Clouzot’s French classic The Wages Of Fear,
1977’s Sorcerer would take Friedkin, cast and
crew into the jungles of the Dominican Republic
and Veracruz, Mexico, for a fraught shoot
beset by illness, angry locals and mass irings.
In his 2013 memoir, Friedkin sums up his
tale of four men trucking an unstable cargo
of nitroglycerin across remote terrain as
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