Sorcerer heads to Toute La Mémoire Du Monde festival.

catalogue-festival-2013From the festival’s press kit:
William Friedkin will be the guest of honour at the second Toute la mémoire du monde festival, which takes place from 3 to 8 December. We are delighted and proud to welcome the director of Sorcerer (the remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Le Salaire de la peur), a restored copy of which he will introduce. Mr Friedkin enthusiastically responded when we asked him to choose five films from among his personal favourites for us to screen. His picks include Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï (digitally restored by Pathé), Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanours. Cinephiles will be eager and delighted to chat with him when he comes to the Cinémathèque.

Find out more here.


About Toby

I'm a writer. And a dad. And a husband. And a record collector. And a movie geek (if the movies are old). And I really wish I had a hot rod.
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8 Responses to Sorcerer heads to Toute La Mémoire Du Monde festival.

  1. Northern Star says:

    Well folks, I FINALLY managed to see ‘Sorcerer’ and my opinion was… well, rather underwhelmed to be honest! I kinda thought “is that it?” and didn’t really like it to be frank… at least not initially, then a funny thing happened on the way to my forming an opinion on the film!

    For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, wondering why exactly I didn’t love it, ruminating on what William Friedkin should have done differently, and before you know it I was back watching it again… and again… and again… and again, has anyone else found this film to be incredibly addictive or is it just me? Anyhoo, after watching it (over and over), it’s layers of depth and nuance unveil themselves and the abundance of riches in this gem of a movie become clear… damn, I think I’m starting to like this movie, no, I’m starting to LOVE it!!!

    It’s without a doubt the single tightest film I’ve seen in many a year, there’s literally not a shot, not a line, not a scene wasted or unnecessary, it’s the very model of brisk, economic storytelling and one that provides new treasures with each subsequent viewing, things you missed or didn’t notice before! With hindsight, I do wish that Billy Friedkin had kept the washboard scene in the film, it’s an important character beat in regards to Nilo’s and Scanlon’s relationship, but other than that, I wouldn’t touch a frame!

    Thank you Billy Friedkin, you aimed for the stars and swung for the fences on ‘Sorcerer’… and wouldn’t you know it, you hit a home run… and then some!

  2. Bernhard says:

    I’m sorry I can’t make it to the screening on Tuesday, but I’m stoked to be at the “Master Class : William Friedkin, à propos de “Sorcerer” on Wednesday (,16300.html). Anyone else?

  3. Mark F says:

    An astute piece of commentary to say the least, although I make that observation with the disclaimer that my bias leans well in favour of the film.

    My relationship with Sorcerer has been somewhat different, but I think I understand where Mr Northern Star is coming from … I first saw the international version (Wages of Fear) on free-to-air TV in August 1984 and was immediately sucked in by it. A couple of years later I managed to tape it (I couldn’t, for the life of me, find a copy on VHS anywhere). So for the next 18 years I sat around watching this home-taped recut – knowing full well that there was an alternative version – until I finally ordered the DVD from the US in 2004.

    My Mrs, who for years was brutally subjected to this video, watched the DVD with me. Her initial comment was something like “It’s a completely different movie.” Then she pretty much repeated the above commentary; something along the lines of: “It seems like an arduous boys own adventure while you are watching it, then it finishes and it’s then that you realise you’ve just sat through something else that’s really pretty good.”

    It is an extraordinary piece of work; a truly remarkable film. And yes, it’s level of detail is quite astounding (a few weeks ago I was sitting through the first Godfather movie again and it occurred to me that Friedkin’s church sequence in Sorcerer, when we see the battered bride, somehow managed to say just as much, if not more, than Coppola’s baptism-shoot ’em all to hell montage).

    It still amazes me that almost everyone missed the point back in 1977. The Star Wars factor may go some way to explaining it, but how was it that the collective film going psyche was so fickle? A freelance film critic in Vermont once suggeted to me that Sorcerer suffered the same fate as Erich von Stroheim’s 1925 megawork Greed. Aside from the tampering studio and jealous critics factors, he suggested its poor box office was due to the audience’s decision not to embrace – or at least deal with – the dark side.

    May the Force finally be with you Mr Friedkin ….. and please, convince WB to give Sorcerer a full blown cinematic run in Australia.

  4. MadameFLY says:

    I saw Sorcerer when it came out in the 70s, in the theatre; I’ve never had the opportunity to rewatch it at home, and am just dying to see it again, in its restored state — Happy to buy the DVD if/when available. The memory of the film still haunts me, nearly 40 yrs on …

  5. Ric from NJ says:

    I believe the critical response to “Sorcerer” can be explained in a few ways. First, critics HATE remakes. Second, people in general were tired of downbeat films, and this is as downbeat as they come. Third, there may have been a need (among some critics) to cut Friedkin down to size after the enormous success of his previous two movies. And the fact that he was remaking a classic probably came across as extremely pompous. I’m sure there are more reasons!

    • Northern Star says:

      I think you may have hit the nail on the head there, and I would think that Friedkin himself would likely agree with you! The cultural tsunami that was ‘Star Wars’, the James Bond movie ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, and the light comedy of ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ – all three released in the summer of ’77 and all of them enormous box-office successes – proved that audiences had tired of dark, downbeat, and morally ambiguous films, wanting bright, light, and morally defined films instead… and ‘Sorcerer’ was unfortunately very much the former and suffered accordingly!

      It didn’t help matters relating to ‘Sorcerer’ that Friedkin had become an insufferable egomaniac (albeit one at the absolute top of his game creatively) at that time, plus the fact he was effectively remaking a critical darling of French cinema, all meant the critics’ knives were nicely sharpened and ready to slice-and-dice Friedkin the moment he reared his head again… and boy did they ever!

      Of course, ‘Hurricane’ Billy had the last laugh, as the phoenix-like redemption, reappraisal, and restoration/upcoming re-release of ‘Sorcerer’ has proven… #TeamFriedkin!

  6. Hey Toby!

    I’m glad such events are happening. I can’t wait to see it either in a theater or on blu-ray, and for that reason alone I’m not re-watching this film any time soon.

    BTW I’m going to enquire about any in Poland. I’ll also try to find my way to write and publish articles about its re-release in major magazines here. By the way I’ve also helped one person to create an article on Sorcerer for some e-journal and the article will be released in January.

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