William Friedkin – happy birthday

I noticed on Twitter today that its William Friedkin’s birthday (he’s 85 I think). As a script consultant and script writer for hire William Friedkin has had quite an influence on me.

My feature debut as a director Markham (out on 31 August to stream and buy on DVD) has long sections inspired by the last third of his much neglected masterpiece Sorcerer (1977) which is the best film a lot of people have never seen.

His long career as a director contains some absolutely stone cold classic films, as well as the much under appreciated Sorcerer (1977) he’s also known for The French Connection, The Exorcist, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A. (another favourite of mine, that was underappreciated at the time, but is now considered a classic), The Hunted, Bug and Killer Joe.

It’s a great filmography, and also shows remarkable tenacity, and he went in and out of fashion at various times, but he always continued to do interesting and boundary breaking work. ‘Bug’ in some ways is even more remarkable than some of his bigger budget projects.

In recent years Sorcerer (1977) has been rereleased and re-evaluated, it’s still not been seen by a wide enough audience, but its reputation is growing.  Critics, filmmakers and fans are talking a lot more about what could be one of the best films of the 70s, that for years has been hidden under wraps and kept out of sight.

For me, the film is better than a lot of very good films from that remarkable decade (the 70s were one of the last great periods of world cinema).  It’s a towering achievement, made even more bitter sweet by the way it was wrongly ignored for so long.  It’s good that the world has finally rolled around to seeing Sorcerer (1977) for it is, a film that stands beside Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver and Chinatown as masterpieces of American filmmaking in its last truly great decade.

Happy Birthday William Friedkin – at 85 his best work is finally getting the appreciation it deserves.  

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire, UK Script editor  and UK script consultant for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award-winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. His UK script coverage service, Script reading service and script development service are highly sought after.

You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb.

You can contact Matthew directly to purchase his ebook The UK Soap Opera Script Writers Handbook.

His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller Markham will be released in 2020. You can find out more about Matthew’s work as a director here.

You can get in touch with Matthew on matcoop23@yahoo.co.uk.