Movie fans, rejoice: The Friedkin Connection, the new memoir by French Connection and Exorcist director William Friedkin, hits bookstore shelves today, and it’s terrific. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise when a great filmmaker writes a great book; good movies are all about storytelling, and some of our favorite filmmakers have proven equally adept at telling stories on the page as on celluloid. Some stick to their primary area of expertise, with tomes on the craft and life of the filmmaker; others take the opportunity to widen their scope a bit, with fascinating results. After the jump, we’ll share some of our favorite volumes by great moviemakers.
Friedkin’s had rather a rocky go of filmmaking success; his first four films were flops, his next two (The French Connection and The Exorcist) were critical and commercial smashes, and then he went on a losing streak that was further complicated by his hot temper and difficult reputation. His new book is admirably candid about both the good and the bad; he’s accumulated decades of great stories, and his naming-names approach to the inner workings of Hollywood is endlessly compelling. But he doesn’t let himself off the hook, either, making this a rare memoir that’s as interested in making amends as settling scores.