* “Forever” referring to 1971 to 1985
Noted geriatric director William Friedkin is awesome. Anyone who’s resume includes The French Connection, To Live and Die in L.A., Sorcerer, and The Exorcist is pretty damn up there in my books. Sure he’s filled the rest of his career with horrible films like the non-erototic thriller Jade and the evil-tree film The Guardian, but I think his good far outways his bad. Besides, for some reason I have a copy of The Guardian in my VHS collection in my old house. I never bought it so I have no idea how I got it.
Friedkin may have fallen of all but the most die-hard fans radar, but he’s still working and when he speaks people listen. Recently, he’s attacked the most popular trend of the 2000s in American cinema: superhero comic book films.
Friedkin basically goes on to say that today, a film like The French Connection would not be made by a film studio. In the interview he feels that audiences have changed and are now more “conditioned by television and television is aimed at the lowest common denominator… their expectations are lower.” I would agree with Friedkin for the most part. An average modern film audience are not too bored with the output of modern day superhero films put out. I haven’t taken a look at any of this years superhero films as I find they lack action and occasionally feel a bit toothless. I think the real lack of action scenes in Iron Man 2 sort of put me on hold from them. To make a point against Friedkin, not all films are as family friendly as Fantastic Four or Iron Man. I’d say that films like Nolan’s The Dark Knight or even films that I don’t think completely worked like The Watchmen weren’t necessarily made just to put on Easter candy and kids backpacks.
Friedkin is 76 years old and it’s easy to paint him as some sort of Grandpa Simpson type figure when he’s critiquing films and modern audiences but I do notice a severe lack of teeth in modern day thrillers and action films. Thankfully, Friedkin is not attacking comic-books as a whole as one of his idols Fritz Lang was a big fan of them when he moved to America. Not to mention a lot of great films have been released that were not superhero based, such as Cronenberg’s A History of Violence As for films for adults that are still gritty and violent, I still have a good amount of Korean thrillers from my previous bargain bin hunting jaunts, so I’m in no worry of Hollywood not suiting my thrill based appetite.