by night



William Friedkin at the Lumière festival suggests an “ultradark” adventure, with an all-nighter, screening four of his movies in a single night… a night of fear, a night of insanity! A genial idea, since these films are all inter-related.




What is amusing if we consider all four works together: The French Connection (1971), The Exorcist (1973), Sorcerer (1977), Cruising (1980), is that they all make you want to rise up and fight - in the best sense of the terms. They explode with heroes ready to jump at your throat, pursue you relentlessly, tracking you until you lose your head, like Gene Hackman, the tenacious, dirty policeman of The French Connection, Al Pacino the pasty undercover cop who rolls his bulging eyes in Cruising, the teen who refuses all dogmatic approaches to life, to the extent that she turns her head 360 ° like an owl in The Exorcist, or the stateless guys immersed in hell who let all hesitation and sense of decency fade away in Sorcerer. They all have something in common with the viewer: they run after themselves and are ready to dive deep into it.

The cinema of Friedkin, version Lumière 2017, is also a faraway journey, a trip to America, which, even if not occurring in the US (like Sorcerer, or parts of The French Connection), it nevertheless retains the impression of excess and Yankee craziness. American cousin to Pasolini, Friedkin films relentlessly track the human soul, to its unspeakable - but very cinematographic - zones. What is believed (religion), addiction (heroin), impulses (sexual), fear (of being unmasked), Friedkin handles them all, with a dead-on conclusion: even if the characters want to run away, it is completely useless. One does not flee one’s inner demons. Since Friedkin is a masterly, gifted filmmaker, this arranging is done in his most beautiful scenes rather than in the recesses of the night, in secret, so that the disturbance felt is all the more intimate. And even in the daylight, Friedkin makes it so one thinks, by contrast, of the night. Like the timeless shot of the hero, played by Pacino, who facing the camera, wonders who he is – and so do we. In perfect opacity.

Come immerse yourself in the Friedkin all-nighter: run after the drug traffickers, track down the serial killer, attempt to defeat the Devil or go on a truckload adventure full of nitroglycerin!


Virginie Apiou


William Friedkin all nighter
French Connection (1971, 1h44)
followed by
Sorcerer (1977, 2h01)
Cruising (Cruising, 1980, 1h42, -16 not admitted)
followed by
The Exorciste (director's cut) (1973, 2h02, -12 not admitted)
Institut Lumière Fri. 20 at 9:30pm

Categories: Lecture Zen