Another day another theme week, this time looking at William Friedkin. Friedkin is a product of the much talked about a mythologized New Hollywood era, a period from the mid Sixties to early Eighties typified by a worshipful approach to auteur theory. It was a time when directors and their creativity ran wild as the producers let them on a very long leash. In this time of style, experimentation, and grandeur. William Friedkin stands out during this time as his films follow a style that is often in contrast to the epic works of his peers, Friedkin is a realist.
While it may seem odd for someone most well known for crafting the most enduring tale of demonic possession, it is undeniable. His style is always restrained and his characters complex, his explorations of good and evil moralities always cast in grey shades. His films explore people on a very intimate level and his realist style still is very elaborative when it comes to the emotion of a scene.
Another theme of his works is an unflinching darkness, a murkiness reflective of our own inability to truly know much of anything. The world is a mysterious place and people are thrown about by mysterious unseen forces beyond our control, his realist style has led him to express the chaos of life. And yet he never shies away from the supernatural or the pulpy, which perhaps is the reason why The Exorcist was part of a broad creative resurgence in horror. And with that we begin William Friedkin week.