There are some films that, for various reasons, just stay with you. There are films that have “iconic scenes” and flow into pop culture in a way that even if someone has not viewed the film, they will know bits and pieces about it so they can understand references. The Exorcist is one of those films.
This last weekend we here at Film Combat Syndicate had the privilege of viewing several films that participated in this year’s virtual film festival debut, Nightstream. While there were several films that sounded promising, one of my top choices was Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist. This choice is not a film, but an interview with Friedkin. Here is the summary:
“In perhaps his most penetrating interview ever, director Alexandre O. Phillippe, quickly making a name for himself as a predominant genre film historian with memorable works like DOC OF THE DEAD, 78/52 and MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN, ploughs deep into the filmmaking process of director William Friedkin through the tumultuous and terrifying production of one of the most iconic horror films ever made. Candid and eye-opening, LEAP OF FAITH is telling of history that compels you to watch it at every turn.”
This interview is everything that the brief above promised. It is a must see for any fans of the film and any aspiring filmmakers. As a creative type, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Friedkin go through the thought process and reasoning behind his decisions with the camera and the script, etc.
However, not everything had a reason. Friedkin candidly talks about how people have tried to look too into his film and of a choice or two he freely admits that he does not know what it means. “Some interpretations make sense,” he admits, but of other things, he says, “I didn’t do it on purpose.” What is he referring to? You will have to watch and find out.
If you’ve ever wondered about casting or that scene with the crucifix or the ending, you can’t skip on this one.
After I finish with the other films I requested from Nightstream, I plan to re-watch The Exorcist. I may even have to finally give parts two and three a try.