Damien Chazelle pays tribute to William Friedkin in Venice

Damien Chazelle pays tribute to William Friedkin in Venice

The La La Land director gave a moving speech at the premiere of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Friedkin’s post-mortem film.

He wasn’t afraid of anything.” It is in these terms, reported by Varietythat Damien Chazellethe president of the jury of the Venice Film Festival, described the director William Friedkin, died on August 7 in Los Angeles. He was 87 years old and had established himself as a cinema monument thanks to his career marked by cult films: French Connection, Sorcerer but above all the mythical The Exorcist.

His latest film, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, received a very warm welcome in Venice. It is adapted from a play by Hermon Wouk and tells the story of the trial of a naval officer accused of mutiny after taking command of a ship led by a captain whose unstable behavior endangered the ship and his crew. Kiefer Sutherland And Jason Clarke are the headliners of the film. Chazelle continued his touching tribute by saying: “When I first heard the name Billy Friedkin, I was a child, and the name itself filled me with fear.

The director of Babylon obviously mentioned his connection to the flagship film of the career of Friedkin : “I probably had The Exorcist on your mind. I hadn’t seen the movie yet but I had seen the letters written in that particular font and the sound of the word ‘Friedkin‘ seemed to suggest to me the most obscure and forbidden recesses of the imagination. The kind of thing that gives you nightmares all your life.

He continues his tribute by presenting the man he was and expressing the immense affection he felt towards him: “In my opinion William Friedkin meant fear. But today when I think of his name, I think of love. I think about the love of cinema, the love of all the arts, and the way they connect and inform us. A vision of cinema which is not separate, but intimately linked to music, literature, painting. Of course, at the opera too.

Tribute to William Friedkin: “Making a film is very mechanical!”

He talks about his meeting with the filmmaker and his support when Chazelle worked on Whiplash : “I think of the kindness and generosity he showed me when I started directing. (…) I will never forget the discovery of this man responsible for films which took me so much to the guts, like Sorcerer, French Connection, Cruising And Killer Joeand who was such a warm, welcoming, kind, humble and loving person.” Chazelle claims that having known Friedkin and his wife was “one of the highest honors” of his life.

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial will not benefit from a theatrical release and will be directly available on the Paramount+ platform. It will be released this fall in all territories in which the platform is available.

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