Magazine article Screen International

Rome: Dario Argento and William Friedkin Deliver Candid Retrospective

Magazine article Screen International

Rome: Dario Argento and William Friedkin Deliver Candid Retrospective

Article excerpt

Friedkin on Argento

Presenting clips from Argento's 1975 horror classic Profundo Rosso (Deep Red), Friedkin showered Argento with praise for his ability to work not just a from a script, but from inspiration.

"His work is so unique. The colour, the settings, the music, the strange angles: he's an impressionist painter like Goya or Caravaggio. He has the ability to let his imagination go on set. Who else can make fear and death entertaining?" said Friedkin.

When asked why Argento dives so deeply into the darkness of the heart, Argento responded: "These are deeper fears of mine. Freudian fears, sexuality fears, the inner dimension of my subconscious.

"These are not Italian stories, but stories that originate from my inner soul - they could belong to anyone."

Argento on Friedkin

Argento chose Friedkin's horrifying exorcism scene from the 1973 classic The Exorcist to demonstrate his work.

"He's a giant. He expresses his energy through his films," explained Argento. "Just look at The Exorcist and French Connection - no one has managed to make films like that since."

"That's because they're all made from special effects - what we did in our time was real," replied Friedkin. "When a car crashed, it really crashed. That is more visually effective than any CGI film today."

Dario Argento on working with Sergio Leone

"He was a man who could recognise talent in others, and I guess he saw talent in me," recalled Argento.

"I remember he had never worked with a woman as a main character before, so we had to help write the character and find the actress. He was a bit of a mysoginist, but incredibly insightful."

Friedkin on working with Hitchcock

Friedkin recounted his start in the film business, working primarily on hard-hitting documentaries in Chicago. Because of [The People vs Paul Crump] that helped save one man from electrocution, Hitchcock asked him to direct the final episode of the Hitchcock Hour.

"I remember wearing a t-shirt and jeans on the one day Hitchcock came to do his voice-overs. When he walked over to introduce himself, he simply said: "Mr Friedkin, usually our directors wear ties."

In retaliation, several years later in 1971, when Friedkin won the Director's Guild Award for The French Connection, he walked up to Hitchcock, unclipped his bow tie and said, "Mr Hitchcock, how is this for a tie? …

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