Thursday, August 9, 2007
A big congratulations to one of my favorite directors William Friedkin for receiving
France's Ministry of Culture's Order of Arts and Letters (Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres). Friedkin joins just a handful of other American directors including Mel Brooks, Clint Eastwood, Gordon Parks, and Robert Redford who have also received this great honor.
I am very happy to see Friedkin finally getting some recognition as it has been a long time coming. Even though he won a well deserved Oscar back in 71 for THE FRENCH CONNECTION, Friedkin is often unjustly not included among the great American director's of the Seventies. At his best, THE FRENCH CONNECTION, THE EXORCIST, SORCERER, CRUISING, TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., RAMPAGE and JADE, Friedkin is pretty unmatchable in my eyes as someone who is able to present the evil in man as much more than just a mere suggestion.
With Friedkin's CRUISING finally set to hit DVD and his recent feature BUG garnering his best reviews in two decades, the French Ministry's honor is very well timed. Here's hoping it leads to many more great films in this man's remarkable career.