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Den Of Geek Book Club: William Friedkin - Films Of Aberration, Obsession And Reality

This month's film Book Club choice is a study of director William Friedkin that spends as much time on the failures as the successes...

Some films catch your attention for reasons other than being good. Cruising (1980) has stuck in my memory for years. It’s very weird. Al Pacino plays a cop who works undercover in New York’s gay club scene, tracking down a serial killer. Or possibly more than one serial killer; it's difficult to tell in the darkness, the double bluffs, and the uncomfortable and unclear nature of the action. Few critics liked it, even less people went to see it, and William Friedkin wrote and directed it. When I think of Friedkin's work I think of Cruising as much as I think of The Exorcist, or The French Connection. How could the same person have made these films?

Clagett's book embraces the failures as much as the successes,

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