Iconoclastic director William Friedkin will give the cinema masterclass at this year’s Cannes film festival. The Exorcist director follows in the footsteps of Martin Scorsese, Nanni Moretti, Wong Kar-wai and Quentin Tarantino among others. The masterclass will be hosted by film critic Michel Ciment.
Friedkin recently published his memoir The Friedkin Connection, the title a nod to his 1971 classic The French Connection, starring Gene Hackman as NY cop Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle and for which Friedkin won the best director Academy Award. Other notable credits include The Wages of Fear remake Sorcerer, with Roy Scheider, Cruising with Al Pacino and most recently Killer Joe with Matthew McConaughey.
“It’s an honor to share my thoughts and ideas with an audience at Cannes, the home of world cinema”, said Friedkin. “This is the most challenging time I can recall for the future of world cinema. There are massive changes coming for production and exhibition, more than I’ve experienced in over fifty years.”
Born in Chicago in 1935, and fond of radio and opera, Friedkin decided to become a film director when he got out of a screening of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. Friedkin has directed a number of operas, including The Tales of Hoffman in Vienna and Richard Strauss’ Salome in Munich.