Must See Friedkin Film Weekend at the Aero

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This weekend the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica offers a well-deserved tribute to one of the hardest working directors in the industry, William Friedkin. Both Saturday and Sunday nights will feature talkbacks with Friedkin, moderated by journalist F.X. Feeney and screenwriter Josh Olson respectively.

The French Connection, which shows Saturday night, enjoys its 40th anniversary this year. The movie that won Friedkin an Oscar still stands out as a trademark of the crime genre. It is paired with To Live & Die in LA, an equally exciting detective film never accorded the praise it deserved. Sunday night promises scarier fare with horror classic The Exorcist followed by a freshly minted print of Sorcerer, which according to Cinematheque programmer Grant Moninger, "was unfairly overlooked upon its release." The story of four oilmen piloting trucks filled with explosives across the South American jungle is a study in suspense.

This is Friedkin's first event with the Cinematheque in over 11 years—it's not often that you'll be able to witness The Exorcist in the company of the director and then ask him questions. Just please leave the pea soup at home.

Strangle-Hold: The Gripping Films of William Friedkin, American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, Jan. 22-23 at 7:30 pm, General Admission tickets: $11