You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Venice Fest to Lionize William Friedkin

Restored 1977 thriller 'Sorcerer' to world preem

ROME — William Friedkin will be feted with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the 70th Venice Film Festival where a pristine restored and recolored copy of his 1977 thriller “Sorcerer” will world preem.

Friedkin is a Lido aficionado. The U.S. helmer’s latest pic, “Killer Joe,” screened in competish at Venice in 2011.

Venice topper Alberto Barbera praised Friedkin for playing a prominent role in the renewal of American cinema, which started in the late 1960s, known as “the New Hollywood,” and later “basically inventing the modern blockbuster” with “The French Connection” (1971) and “The Exorcist” (1973), before going on to make many works “ahead of their time” including “Sorcerer,” “To Live and Die in L.A.” and “Jade,” he said in a statement.

“Sorcerer,” an adaptation of French thriller “Wages of Fear,” by Henri-George Clouzot, is one of Friedkin’s most controversial pics. Released roughly one week after George Lucas’ “Star Wars,” it was not a commercial success, but has since become one of Friedkin’s most critically praised titles and one of the hardest to catch on a big screen.

The Warner Bros. restoration of “Sorcerer” began with a 4k film resolution scan of the original 35mm camera negative. The restoration project is now in final stages of color timing. It’s being completed under the Friedkin’s direction, working with colorist Bryan McMahan, who has collaborated with Friedkin since 1994, and with Ned Price of Warner Bros.

“I consider ‘Sorcerer’ my most personal film and the most difficult to achieve,” said Friedkin. “To realize that it’s going to have a new life in cinema is something for which I’m deeply grateful. To have its world premiere at the Venice festival is something I look forward to with great joy. It is truly a Lazarus moment.”

Restoration took some doing on Friedkin’s part. He reportedly had to initiate legal action against Universal and Paramount, who co-produced the film, in order to save its afterlife. Warner Bros. will now re-release “Sorcerer,” though it’s not clear yet in what media.

The 70th Venice Film Festival will run Aug. 28-Sept. 7.

More Film

  • Virginia Madsen Valeria Cotto

    Film News Roundup: Virginia Madsen, Valeria Cotto to Star in Supernatural Thriller 'Sarah'

    ROME — William Friedkin will be feted with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the 70th Venice Film Festival where a pristine restored and recolored copy of his 1977 thriller “Sorcerer” will world preem. Friedkin is a Lido aficionado. The U.S. helmer’s latest pic, “Killer Joe,” screened in competish at Venice in 2011. Venice […]

  • BondIt Media Capital

    BondIt Media Capital Closes $20 Million Credit Facility (EXCLUSIVE)

    ROME — William Friedkin will be feted with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the 70th Venice Film Festival where a pristine restored and recolored copy of his 1977 thriller “Sorcerer” will world preem. Friedkin is a Lido aficionado. The U.S. helmer’s latest pic, “Killer Joe,” screened in competish at Venice in 2011. Venice […]

  • Brookings Institution presents "The Life She

    Brookings Institution Doc Puts a Human Face on the Medical Marijuana Movement

    ROME — William Friedkin will be feted with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the 70th Venice Film Festival where a pristine restored and recolored copy of his 1977 thriller “Sorcerer” will world preem. Friedkin is a Lido aficionado. The U.S. helmer’s latest pic, “Killer Joe,” screened in competish at Venice in 2011. Venice […]

  • Playback Podcast: Aaron Katz on 'Gemini'

    Playback: Aaron Katz on 'Gemini' and the Erosion of Mid-Budget Studio Filmmaking

    ROME — William Friedkin will be feted with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the 70th Venice Film Festival where a pristine restored and recolored copy of his 1977 thriller “Sorcerer” will world preem. Friedkin is a Lido aficionado. The U.S. helmer’s latest pic, “Killer Joe,” screened in competish at Venice in 2011. Venice […]

  • The Equalizer 2 trailer

    Denzel Washington Is Back in Action in 'Equalizer 2' Trailer

    ROME — William Friedkin will be feted with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the 70th Venice Film Festival where a pristine restored and recolored copy of his 1977 thriller “Sorcerer” will world preem. Friedkin is a Lido aficionado. The U.S. helmer’s latest pic, “Killer Joe,” screened in competish at Venice in 2011. Venice […]

  • Robert Redford

    Robert Redford's 'The Old Man and the Gun' Lands Awards-Season Opening

    ROME — William Friedkin will be feted with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the 70th Venice Film Festival where a pristine restored and recolored copy of his 1977 thriller “Sorcerer” will world preem. Friedkin is a Lido aficionado. The U.S. helmer’s latest pic, “Killer Joe,” screened in competish at Venice in 2011. Venice […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content