The Birthday Party
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1 item from 2017

Video Essay. Friedkin's Endings

1 May 2017 6:15 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Where to begin with William Friedkin? Our title would suggest at the end. But really this video essay stems from the beginning—rather, from the early biography of this most idiosyncratic of mainstream directors. In fast and short Chicago-l.A. documentaries about stuntmen, lion-tamers, and death-row inmates, Friedkin cultivated a taste for action and physicality. His first film, The People vs. Paul Crump (1962), recreates from the ground up the bank job that the titular inmate took the fall for, a precursor to the present-tense quality of Friedkin’s later, more famous movies; while The Bold Men (1965) is a forgotten television special about tough-guy characters sticking out their necks for their own glory. (The latter was sourced from real life by Friedkin after a producer handed him just the proposed title and offered him a tiny budget to shoot it on.) By the time he was celebrated—or derided—for terse »

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