By MCN Editor

William Friedkin’s SORCERER added to Chicago Critics Film Festival)


A rare screening of William Friedkin’s “Sorcerer,” the award-winning drama “This Is Martin Bonner” and actors Jake Busey and Marina Squerciati added to the lineup for the first annual Chicago Critics Film Festival

The Chicago Film Critics Association announces two additions to the first annual Chicago Critics Film Festival. “Sorcerer,” William Friedkin’s long-unavailable 1977 thriller, will conclude the festival on April 14 with a rare 35mm screening of an archival print with Friedkin participating in a post-screening Q&A.

In addition, actors Jake Busey and Marina Squerciati will present their new film”Sparks” on April 13 alongside filmmaker Christopher Folino, Ashley Bell and William Katt. The acclaimed drama “This is Martin Bonner” will screen the same day. They join more than 20 features, documentaries and short films making their local premieres. The event runs April 12-14 at the Muvico Rosemont 18 Theaters. This is the first film festival to be launched by a major U.S. film critics organization.

“Sorcerer,” Friedkin’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 1973 hit “The Exorcist,” was a remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s controversial 1953 film “The Wages of Fear.” In the remake, four men (led by Roy Scheider) on the run from their troubled pasts in South America are hired by an oil company to drive six crates of highly unstable nitroglycerin through dangerous jungle terrain to a remote drilling operation where the cargo will be used to extinguish a raging fire. Shot mostly on location in the Dominican Republic, the film had an extraordinarily troubled production history and wound up costing a then-enormous $22 million.

This dark and gripping work, fueled by Tangarine Dream’s hypnotic score, opened during 1977 around the same time as “Star Wars.” “Sorcerer” was largely scorned by critics who questioned the wisdom of remaking Clouzot’s masterpiece. It was also ignored by audiences. During the next three decades, “Sorcerer” grew in stature among film fans. It’s now considered by many to be one of Friedkin’s best films and one of the most underrated films of its era.

For this special event, Friedkin will be at the theater to sign copies of his newly published autobiography, “The Friedkin Connection,” introduce the screening of a 35mm print straight from the Paramount Pictures archives, and will do a post-show Q&A moderated by CFCA members Steve Prokopy of Ain’t It Cool News and Peter Sobczynski of

According to Prokopy, “‘Sorcerer’ perfectly blends some of the most suspenseful filmmaking of its time with a surrealistic political subtext, accentuated by beautiful cinematography and an eerie, tense score from Tangerine Dream. This is rare remake that uses the original film as a starting point that is built upon, rather than dumbed down.”

Sobczynski added, “Being able to see ‘Sorcerer’ on the big screen is a dream that many film fans feared might never come true. To be able to cross off this particular cinematic bucket list entry–with Friedkin on hand to boot–is an extraordinary opportunity that they will not want to miss.”

“This is Martin Bonner” launched its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it won the “Best Of Next” Audience Award for writer-director Chad Hartigan. The film tells the story of the unexpected friendship between a man (Paul Eenhoorn) working to help prisoners transition to the outside world and a prisoner (Richmond Arquette) facing freedom after a 12-year stretch behind bars. The film is scheduled to be screened at 11 a.m. April 13.

Jake Busey, who has appeared in such films as “The Frighteners,” “Starship Troopers” and “Contact,” will appear on April 13 to attend the 7 p.m. screening of the superhero-themed action-thriller “Sparks.” He plays Sledge, a rival for the affections of Lady Heavenly, played by Ashley Bell (“The Last Exorcism.”) He will be joined by Marina Squerciati, who has been seen on such television shows as “Gossip Girl” and “The Americans” and who appears in the film as fellow costumed hero Dawn. Busey and Squerciati will participate in a post-screening Q&A with Bell, writer-director Christopher Folino, and co-star William Katt (“Carrie,” “Big Wednesday,” “The Greatest American Hero”)

Individual and festival passes can be purchased at A schedule of films and guests appearances can be found at

All festival screenings and events will be held at the Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18. Festival events will be at Bogart’s Bar and Grill on the second floor of the Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18, off of River Road and I-294 in Rosemont, Il. Muvico is easily accessible by public transportation; just a short walk from the Blue Line River Road exit. The Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18 is Chicago’s premiere movie-going experience featuring elegant stadium seating and state-of-the-art Sony 4K digital projection.

The Chicago Film Critics Association has 51 active members dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of excellence in the cinematic arts. The group gave out its first achievement awards in 1989, The annual event has been attended by recipients such as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Robert Altman, Anthony Hopkins, Denzel Washington and many other filmmakers.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon