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September 26 - 27, 2014

A Salute to William Friedkin

The Harvard Film Archive is thrilled to welcome back legendary filmmaker William Friedkin (b. 1935)—the subject of an expanded 2009 HFA retrospective—to present screenings of his celebrated latest feature, Killer Joe and the digitally remastered version of Sorcerer, one of his indisputably greatest films. More than a tribute celebration of one of the American cinema’s most talented filmmakers, Mr. Friedkin returns to Harvard for a very special occasion, to present to Houghton Library the original manuscripts for his acclaimed memoir The Friedkin Connection and to donate a set of 35mm prints of his films to the Film Archive. We are honored to receive William Friedkin and to accept his generous gift which will offer an invaluable resource for future generations of film scholars and historians.

To celebrate and make official this important gift, a short ceremony will be held in the Harvard Film Archive theater before the screening of Sorcerer. – Haden Guest

Special thanks: Marcia Franklin—William Friedkin Productions

$12 Special Event Tickets
William Friedkin in person

Friday September 26 at 7pm


Directed by William Friedkin. With Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer,
Francisco Rabal
US 1977, DCP, color, 121 min

Four seedy criminal outcasts risk their lives in pursuit of redemption, both legal and moral, by driving unreliable trucks stocked with nitroglycerine through dangerous landscape to cap an oil well fire in a Central American banana republic. Featuring a trance-like score by Tangerine Dream and a visceral, astonishing performance by Roy Scheider, Friedkin's reinterpretation of the novel on which Clouzot based his 1953 masterpiece is among Friedkin’s most daring works. Three sequences alone—a chaotic car crash in New Jersey, the unloading of charred bodies in a Central American village, and the explosives laden trucks crossing a rickety storm-blown bridge—render Sorcerer a classic and retain their power to make audiences gasp. Released the same year as Star Wars, Friedkin's audacious masterpiece represents the braver road abandoned by the studio system. DCP courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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$12 Special Event Tickets
William Friedkin in person

Saturday September 27 at 7pm

Killer Joe

Directed by William Friedkin. With Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon
US 2012, DCP, color, 103 min

William Friedkin's latest film is among his most audacious works, a startling and often hilarious Southern Gothic crime thriller based on an acclaimed play by Tracy Letts, who also wrote the film's screenplay. With its sudden shifts from hillbilly black comedy to savage violence Killer Joe is a wickedly cutting film whose jagged satiric edge and kinetic stylization reveal the octogenarian Friedkin to be one of those rarest of directors whose talent and vision remain undiminished, if not intensified, across the course of a long and storied career. DCP courtesy of Paramount Lionsgate.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700