In 1974, William Friedkin was one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, having just come off of the two-punch successes of “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist.” So, naturally, he decided to use his newfound clout in the industry to conduct an extended interview with his idol, Fritz Lang, director of “M” and “Metropolis,” and the only man on planet Earth who successfully rocked an eye patch AND sunglasses. The resulting 90-minute interview was as compact of a film school any student of cinema could have asked for.
Forty years later, during the 2014 CPH PIX festival, Friedkin saw his career come full circle as he became the interview subject for another young director who idolizes him. There’s more than a whiff of “The French Connection” and “To Live and Die in LA” in “Drive,” so it makes perfect sense for Nicholas Winding Refn to spend two hours with Friedkin while picking his brain during an extended Q&A. Refn is reserved and humble, as usual, which works as the perfect counterbalance to the boisterous, endlessly energetic and brutally honest Friedkin.
He weighs in on the “film vs. digital” debate, showers praises on “Citizen Kane,” tells the audience the insane true story behind his controversial 1980 police thriller, “Cruising,” and orders his audience to get the hell out if they don’t love Antonioni’s “Blow Up.” Hey, at least he didn’t fire a revolver two inches away from the audience’s ears in order to get better questions. You can watch the 2014 and 1974 interviews below. [via One Perfect Shot]