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Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist

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I don't know that there is much new here, although plenty of it was new to me. The main thing, though, is that Friedkin is so engaging that i was more than happy to listen to him riff for 100 minutes about the film's production history. 

Lots that might be of interest to an A&F crowd including his acknowledged debt to Ordet, his discussion of "grace notes" in film, and his conviction that every choice he made about the film ended up being a fortuitous one -- leading him to believe there was something more influencing him than simply luck. 



It is also a “making of” style documentary with stories that are both entertaining and sobering. Mercedes McCambridge, a Catholic alcoholic felt she had to drink and smoke to get the voice of the demon and made Friedkin pay two priests to be on the movie set with her. Jason Miller paid to fly to his own screen test because the Father Karras part had already been cast. Max von Sydow struggled to give a forceful reading of a key exorcism line because, he confessed to Friedkin, he just didn’t believe in God.


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