Locarno to fete William Friedkin

Swiss festival to screen 'To Live and Die in L.A.'

ROME — William Friedkin will be feted by the 62nd Locarno Film Festival with its honorary Leopard for career achievement.

Friedkin, whose 18 feature films over the past four decades include classics such as multiple Oscar-winner “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” as well as cult titles including “To Live and Die in L.A.,” was praised by Locarno artistic topper Frederic Maire for “revolutionizing genre movies while working from the very core of the Hollywood studio system.”

“To Live and Die in L.A.” will unspool in Locarno’s 8,500-seat Piazza Grande, which is Europe’s largest open-air venue.

The prolific and influential helmer whose latest work is the horror film “Up,” which screened in 2006 in Cannes, will also hold a master class during the Aug. 5-15 Swiss lakeside fest dedicated to discovering new international auteurs and celebrating indie cinema.

Friedkin, who has taken to directing operas lately, is currently preparing Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West” for the Paris Opera.

Previous Locarno career award recipients include Jean-Luc Godard, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach and Alexander Sokurov.

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