While William Friedkin isn't primarily known as a "genre" director, he did make what is arguably one of the scariest movies ever with The Exorcist. And even though the movie is now nearly 40 years old, I still always find discussions about it to continue to be fascinating. Mick Garris' Post Mortem episode with the filmmaker is no exception. Check out this excellent 5 part interview with the director of such classics as The French Connection, Sorcerer, Cruising, To Live And Die In LA and much, much more.
In Part 1, Mick Garris recounts the story of waiting in line to see The Exorcist for the first time and he discusses with Friendkin building expectancy and anxiety among the audience through subliminal perception. Part 2 goes into detail regarding Friedkin's filmmaking style and how he intentionally likes to leave certain plot threads unresolved and open for audience interpretation. He also talks about his disagreement with William Peter Blatty on the ending of The Exorcist, which evenually resulted in "The Version You've Never Seen" cut in 2000.
Curious what originally inspired Blatty to pen the book? In Part 3, Friedkin gives us the backstory of The Exorcist. In Part 4, Friedkin goes into detail about his working relationship with FX legend Dick Smith and how they came up with the movie's many memorable gags. He also talks about finding an unlikely alley at the MPAA! Part 5 wraps it all up with the story of how Friedkin became attached as the director of The Exorcist, which all stemmed from his open honesty for not liking a Blake Edwards comedy script that Blatty had co-written.
I'm telling you, you'll learn all of this stuff and more in the videos below! Check out Post Mortem: William Friedkin!