William Friedkin Gina Gershon Williams France film beautiful fun performer audience man William Friedkin Gina Gershon Williams France

EIFF 2012: Killer Joe, The Imposter and Fred

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Day 2 in Edinburgh saw the European premiere of William Friedkin’s KILLER JOE and the opportunity to talk to both director and one of the stars, Gina Gershon, about their time on the project.EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara spoke on his choice of KILLER JOE as the Festival’s opening film, saying that “there’s nothing wrong with being unconventional,” with his decision to choose Friedkin’s film down to the fact that it is both “accessible to a large audience and a beautiful piece of filmmaking.”While it may be accessible to a large audience, Friedkin made it very clear that his film was “not targeting teenagers,” and that it is “the kind of film that challenges an audience,” while joking that he hoped he hadn’t lowered the level of the Festival set in Edinburgh’s “casual blend of the old and new.”It is clear to see that Gina Gershon doesn’t believe Friedkin should be worried, stating how she wouldn’t “have done this movie with anyone else.” She went on to explain that she was “offered the play of this a long time ago, but doing eight shows a week would have been too brutal.

But when I heard he was doing it, I thought that would be a great person to be directed by.”It is a constant point of amazement that KILLER JOE is directed by a seventy-six year old.

But this is William Friedkin, the helmer of THE EXORCIST, THE FRENCH CONNECTION and CRUISING and somebody who is very much at ease working with controversial subject matter.

Never particularly comfortable viewing, but always a great deal of fun, the brutality and black humour that pepper the film are nothing short of delicious.Setting Matthew McConaughey as a meticulous and cold presence right from his iconic introduction, he is effortlessly scary throughout, barely.

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