Thursday, July 01, 2010

William Friedkin's Sorcerer

From William Friedkin, the director who has given us such gems as The French Connection (1971), The Exorcist (1973) and Bug (2007), another insanely torqued masterwork: Sorceror (1977)! I can't say enough good stuff about this one: visceral and creepy, it draws the viewer into a world few would want to live or die in . . . It's an alternate version of one of my favorite 50s films, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Le Salaire de la peur / The Wages of Fear (1953) based on Georges-Jean Arnaud's 1950 novel. Off the charts good filmmaking . . .

Early on in Sorcerer, there are scenes in Vera Cruz, Jerusalem, Paris and New Jersey that lay out why four bad dudes end up as desperados driving two trucks carrying volatile explosives toward a burning oil well 216 clicks away from the squalid village of Porvenir ("future" in Spanish) somewhere in South America.* 

A shady hitman, a smalltime gangster on the run from robbing a church, the survivor of a cell that set off a bomb in Jerusalem, a banker fleeing from corruption charges, and "the German" -- that's the main crew. Throw in death, destruction and wreckage from an oil disaster, a peasant uprising, guerillas in the mountains, the brutal and ever-changing nature of the terrain, savage tropical weather and corporate mandates -- plus Tangerine Dream's first soundtrack -- and there you have it . . . Not for the Disney and Hallmark crowd nor the easily distracted, my friends . . . but oh, what a movie!

*Possibly an allusion to Provenir in Chile under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, though actually the village of Alta Gracia -- "high grace" -- in the Dominican Republic.

Today's Rune: Journey.


Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't seen this but it looks like something I would like. Reminds me of some the mercenary stories I read when I was younger that I liked.

Lana Gramlich said...

Sounds interesting.