Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist

Alexandre O. Phillipe is on a roll and quickly becoming the horror analyst in chief. Dissecting first PSYCHO in 78/52, then the Ridley Scott classic in MEMORY: ORIGINS OF ALIEN and now another absolute staple of horror cinema: THE EXORCIST. And who better to ask than Bill himself? He already told us all about it at the BIFFF 2012, but for those of you who didn’t have a chance to drink a Troll with William Friedkin, our Knight of the Order of the Raven is giving an extremely detailed account of the filmmaking process here. You’d be forgiven to think that this is barely more than a feature-length DVD bonus, with Mr. Friedkin in an armchair talking, while images of his masterpiece flash by. But then you don’t know Philippe. He urges the director to get personal. Sure, we all know this film is perhaps the greatest horror classic of all time. That doesn’t make heads turn (360 degrees) anymore. What is of interest however is how much of himself he had put into the film he had in mind when it came to cast, score, sound design, locations, idiosyncratic decisions and brilliant, almost divine inspiration on set. All coming from a period in which we didn’t speak of ‘products’ and ‘content’ but simply of art.

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