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Old 01-11-2018, 08:33 AM   #301
lemonski lemonski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenus View Post
I saw Sorcerer last night and it was terrific. I know many people here are bigger fans of the Clouzot film of Wages of Fear. But in my memory of seeing that one more than a decade ago, I was less thrilled, mainly because of the very obvious miniature work, which defused the tension of many of the truck scenes.
Really? I just watched the new BFI 4K restored BD the other night (which is absolutely beautiful, BTW) and I didn't see any miniature work. Are you sure about that? All the trucks were definitely real.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:18 AM   #302
ravenus ravenus is offline
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^Hmm, I saw it on a beat-up DVD so maybe I'm wrong here.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:02 PM   #303
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Cluzot's film is definitely better in just about every way, but enough time separates them that they are two completely different styles of film making, so it's OK.
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:43 PM   #304
Jlouisbarrett Jlouisbarrett is offline
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I just finished watching the U.K. release — it was the first time I’d seen the film. I absolutely loved it. Now, will someone please give the same treatment to Cruising?!

The Refn interview was good; I like these relaxed conversational-style interviews more than your standard talking head piece. It was a little odd though in the sense that Refn was really pushing for Friedkin to get into the down and dirty details of how the movie failed both critically and financially, and what effect it had on Friedkin both personally and professionally, which is not something Friedkin seemed too keen on discussing in-depth. Though, I must admit, that is the stuff I wanted to hear about most.

Also, why they felt the need to convert it to black-and-white... I have no idea.

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Old 02-02-2018, 08:08 AM   #305
CinemaScope CinemaScope is online now
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For anyone who's never seen this & wants to try before you buy (& that includes me), it's on Film Four in HD tonight at 10.45.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:10 PM   #306
Douglas R Douglas R is offline
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For anyone who's never seen this & wants to try before you buy (& that includes me), it's on Film Four in HD tonight at 10.45.
I watched it on Film 4. I saw the film when it was first released in London under the title WAGES OF FEAR in the shortened version and frankly hated it. I've always been a huge admirer of Clouzot's film, rightly regarded as one of the finest films ever made and Friedkin's film, essentially the same story, is a pale imitation.

Seeing Friedkin's film today in its full length version it seems a little better than I remember but the entire back story prelude is totally irrelevant to the main story. It adds nothing to the characters of the four men and gives no explanation of why they all ended up where they did. The film lacks the constant tension of Clouzot's film who also made his characters far more interesting and believable.

Admittedly I've never been a Friedkin fan. I dislike his rugged style, with little regard for formal composition and fondness for handheld shots.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:31 PM   #307
Bumblefeet Bumblefeet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas R View Post
Seeing Friedkin's film today in its full length version it seems a little better than I remember but the entire back story prelude is totally irrelevant to the main story. It adds nothing to the characters of the four men and gives no explanation of why they all ended up where they did. The film lacks the constant tension of Clouzot's film who also made his characters far more interesting and believable.
I wonder if we saw the same movie?

Without the preludes setting up each character's reason to end up where they did, desperate enough to undertake such an endeavour and struggling with inner demons due to the events taking place in the preludes, much of what follows would lack meaning (especially
[Show spoiler]the moment we see the faith of the second truck and the French driver as well as the ending
). It's the way Friedkin takes his time to setup these characters and creates a mood of fatalism through all the actions and decisions these characters make, that is the drive of the story, not the getting the dynamite and trucks to their destination in one piece which is still quite spectacular...
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:40 AM   #308
Aclea Aclea is offline
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Honestly, I don't see why you'd say that: Clouzot's film establishes the desperation without them and Friedkin conjures up enough of a Hellish atmosphere to show why people would risk their lives for a way out. We know that the only reason you'd end up in such a Hellhole is running away from something really bad and that they're reached the point where whatever they were running from seems the better option than staying. We really don't need to be spoonfed backstories as the film stops and starts several times before it gets to South America.

Here's what I wrote about it earlier in this thread:

Clouzot's version may take just as long to get its desperate characters on the road, but I do find the stop/start, stop/start, stop/start structure of the opening of the US version of Friedkin's film as it trudges through the stories of what drove its antiheroes to hide out in South America clumsy and contrived despite quite liking the scenes themselves. It's the unnecessariness of it as much as the awkward structure - everything is spelled out in so much detail as if Friedkin doesn't think the audience will care about them if they don't know the intimate details of their rather bland backstories, taking away any element of mystery or discovery to the characters. It's the clumsiest part of the film because it's so on the nose, something many critics back in 1977 zeroed in on.

By contrast, in the Clouzot film (and to a lesser extent the European re-edit, which Friedkin loathes) is set in South America right from the start with the past only sporadically intruding as a tormented memory - for example Montand's Metro ticket, at once a sentimental memento but also a reminder of some undisclosed transgression that drove him to the farthest corner of the Earth. We know he's exiled himself to Hell and whatever fate is waiting for him back home is starting to look good to him, but he can't even scrape up the fare home to face the music. That's real desperation, and Clouzot trusts the audience's ability to grasp that in a way Friedkin doesn't. With the Clouzot version, we learn about the characters from what they don't tell us: with Friedkin's, we've been shown everything. I think Friedkin's film would work better without them altogether, but changing the stop/start rhythm of the front-loaded prologues and moving them to flashbacks in the international re-edit works very well. Which is why it's a pity the BD didn't include both cuts.
"Gentleman, that last remark is not for publication. This is a D notice situation."
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Old 02-04-2018, 02:39 AM   #309
Monroville Monroville is offline
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I personally prefer SORCERER over WAGES OF FEAR. They are pretty close together, but the end of WOF is so stupid it took me right out of the movie. The main character makes the drop, gets paid and is driving back to town so elated he
[Show spoiler]starts swirving back-and-forth on a winding mountain road until (ugh) "tragically" he falls over the edge and to his death
.

[Show spoiler]Was I supposed to be sad? Laugh? Be in utter shock at the stupidity of it? I know someone will explain that he is soooo happy and whatever, but I would have thought it would have ended with him getting his check, and then just sitting beside his truck, shaking and crying, glad to be still, dry and alive.


I dunno. I like it.. I appreciate it.. but SORCERER just jives with me better. It might be due to the 70's style and music, or I feel I can relate to the actors in SORCERER better.

It would be interesting to see someone over on fanedit.org do a "European edit" of SORCERER just to see how it would play out.
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:03 AM   #310
Aclea Aclea is offline
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Yes, it's a heavy handed bit of irony, but slightly less absurd than Scheider
[Show spoiler]being tracked down to a South American by the mob, who dispatch a carful of hitmen
. And it's often the cases that fatal accidents don't occur on dangerous roads where people exercise caution but in apparently good conditions where they're overconfident and take their eye off the ball.

They're both purposely absurd endings (I'll give Friedkin the benefit of the doubt on that), but I find a cocky driver convinced of his own indestructibility after all he's gone through a bit less of a leap of faith than
[Show spoiler]an omniscient mob boss despatching his minions to the four corners of the world over a few grand
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:48 AM   #311
Olmo Olmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas R View Post
I watched it on Film 4. I saw the film when it was first released in London under the title WAGES OF FEAR in the shortened version and frankly hated it. I've always been a huge admirer of Clouzot's film, rightly regarded as one of the finest films ever made and Friedkin's film, essentially the same story, is a pale imitation.

Seeing Friedkin's film today in its full length version it seems a little better than I remember but the entire back story prelude is totally irrelevant to the main story. It adds nothing to the characters of the four men and gives no explanation of why they all ended up where they did. The film lacks the constant tension of Clouzot's film who also made his characters far more interesting and believable.

Admittedly I've never been a Friedkin fan. I dislike his rugged style, with little regard for formal composition and fondness for handheld shots.




The French Connection & The Exorcist are masterpieces both, and hugely influential, principally for the very reasons you dislike his oeuvre.

I happen to agree with you on Sorcerer, I think it's somewhat overrated.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:37 AM   #312
Olmo Olmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aclea View Post
Honestly, I don't see why you'd say that: Clouzot's film establishes the desperation without them and Friedkin conjures up enough of a Hellish atmosphere to show why people would risk their lives for a way out. We know that the only reason you'd end up in such a Hellhole is running away from something really bad and that they're reached the point where whatever they were running from seems the better option than staying. We really don't need to be spoonfed backstories as the film stops and starts several times before it gets to South America.

Here's what I wrote about it earlier in this thread:

Clouzot's version may take just as long to get its desperate characters on the road, but I do find the stop/start, stop/start, stop/start structure of the opening of the US version of Friedkin's film as it trudges through the stories of what drove its antiheroes to hide out in South America clumsy and contrived despite quite liking the scenes themselves. It's the unnecessariness of it as much as the awkward structure - everything is spelled out in so much detail as if Friedkin doesn't think the audience will care about them if they don't know the intimate details of their rather bland backstories, taking away any element of mystery or discovery to the characters. It's the clumsiest part of the film because it's so on the nose, something many critics back in 1977 zeroed in on.

By contrast, in the Clouzot film (and to a lesser extent the European re-edit, which Friedkin loathes) is set in South America right from the start with the past only sporadically intruding as a tormented memory - for example Montand's Metro ticket, at once a sentimental memento but also a reminder of some undisclosed transgression that drove him to the farthest corner of the Earth. We know he's exiled himself to Hell and whatever fate is waiting for him back home is starting to look good to him, but he can't even scrape up the fare home to face the music. That's real desperation, and Clouzot trusts the audience's ability to grasp that in a way Friedkin doesn't. With the Clouzot version, we learn about the characters from what they don't tell us: with Friedkin's, we've been shown everything. I think Friedkin's film would work better without them altogether, but changing the stop/start rhythm of the front-loaded prologues and moving them to flashbacks in the international re-edit works very well. Which is why it's a pity the BD didn't include both cuts.
Suspension of disbelief aside, I think Clouzot's original has a more laughable denouement than Friedkin's (though I think it a far superior film).This may be the reason the prologues exist in Sorcerer, for the New Jersey prologue is the genesis of the *admittedly* cack-handed & contrived ending which Friedkin obviously had in mind from the outset in order to distinguish it from Wages of Fear.


An ending should be satisfying, and not leave the watcher feeling gypped or patronised. I'm of the opinion that this is the reason the bang average 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' has received such unwarranted garlands. It has such an intelligent ending after nearly two hours of formulaic blandness that it almost fools you into believing you've watched something worthy because it makes you think about the film after your arse leaves the upholstery.

The respective endings of Wages of Fear & Sorcerer are the inverse of this theory.

Last edited by Olmo; 02-04-2018 at 11:42 AM.
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