Movie recommendation: Sorcerer

What’s going on with various unions in Hollywood being forced to strike? Roughly 99.7% of Hollywood executives are Democrats (source). Why won’t committed Democrats pay workers a fair wage?

While it is sad that the Netflix Cleopatra (3% audience score) spinoffs might be delayed by the refusal of Democrats to pay their workers properly, the public can still watch Sorcerer, the recently deceased director William Friedkin’s favorite among his movies (French Connection and Exorcist are the best known).

From Friedkin’s obituary in the NYT, a Ukraine connection and also one to the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community:

William Friedkin, known to his friends as Billy, was born in Chicago on Aug. 25, 1935, to Louis and Rachel (Green) Friedkin. Both parents were Jews who had left Ukraine early in the century with their families to escape the tsarist pogroms. His mother, who was known as Rae, was an operating room nurse; his father worked a variety of low-paying jobs.

“The French Connection” was rejected by every studio in town before Richard Zanuck, in his final days at 20th Century Fox, gave it the green light. Convinced that the film required a street-level documentary feel, Mr. Friedkin spent weeks on the beat with the two police officers who had broken the French Connection drug case. He said he paid an official at the New York Transit Authority a $40,000 bribe to overlook the rules and allow the famous chase sequence to be filmed.

He later called “Sorcerer,” in an interview with Indiewire in 2017, “the only film I’ve made that I can still watch.”

The lurid “Cruising” (1980), with Al Pacino as a New York City detective who goes undercover in the city’s gay S-and-M bars to solve a murder, aroused the fierce opposition of gay activists, who objected to the film’s portrayal of gay men and who picketed the location shoots, much to Mr. Friedkin’s dismay.

Another great movie from this guy: To Live and Die in L.A. (you wouldn’t have wanted to be hoping to get anywhere near where they filmed the car chase on the day(s) of filming!)

Trigger warnings: the employer of the main characters in Sorcerer does not comply with OSHA regulations; seat belts are not always worn; the roads and bridges that they traverse were not approved by Pete Buttigieg.

9 thoughts on “Movie recommendation: Sorcerer

  1. I still haven’t seen this, but the score (by Tangerine Dream) is supposed to be excellent. (If you like Tangerine Dream)

  2. “Roughly 99.7% of Hollywood executives are Democrats” Only 0.3% of hard-core communists?

  3. As far as lions could tell, the only scene worth watching was the collapsing bridge scene. Guess it surmised how far men would go for freedom, before Amerikans declared freedom the root of all evil. Didn’t realize the same guy made Exorcist & Live & die in LA. That was a forgettable LA cop movie which seems to have become an 80’s comfort movie.

  4. “his father worked a variety of low-paying jobs” Looks like a code phrase for Reel American immigrant background, something akin proletarian heritage in former USSR. I would not be surprise that it is often faked, like it was in former USSR. I think one of Bill Clinton fixers used to say that they wanted immigration to slave on them. Probably he meant to bury Clinton’s skeletons discreetly. I wonder how many people in America now ready to work for minimal wage just not to be murdered or maimed. Is it that different in principle from slavery?

  5. “Another great movie from this guy: To Live and Die in L.A. (you wouldn’t have wanted to be hoping to get anywhere near where they filmed the car chase on the day(s) of filming!)”

    Whoa! I saw a pre-release, pre-score, pre-some special effects rough cut of this at the Sony studios in Culver City after some studio flunky lurking at the neighboring shipping center gave me a couple of tickets because, I assume, I seemed to match some desired demographics.

    I never actually saw the finished film, which I shall attempt to remedy. I’m sure it’s great, thanks to the helpful notes I wrote in the post-screening questionnaire.

  6. You have to wonder if the art form of film has run its course and the current fight is over the scraps. The golden age of film, certainly US film, was from around 1930 to say 1995 with say the late 1960s through the 1970s a golden age when directors like Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg and lesser talents like Friedkin were in their prime. I mean all art forms eventually wear out. Painting probably reached its peak with Rembrandt and the novel peaked from around 1850-1920. No one writes sonnets anymore. Notwithstanding Marvel comic iterations, the heroic ode peaked about 3,000 years ago and then tailed off. Classical music peaked centuries ago. So nowadays if you like abstract art or whatever is done in fiction these days or watching or reading about heroic Marvel characters, that is alright, but it is obvious that these art forms are past their prime — either redoing what has already been done or too abstract to be appreciable to most. So too with film, no?

  7. The Sorcerer, according to the one sentence description on the link Dave provided, seems to be a remake of the great French film Wages of Fear, one of the great noir movies and one of the greatest films ever made.

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