Rushfield: William Friedkin and What Hollywood Has Lost
The legendary director would never stand for today's crisis of bland
What is Hollywood missing right now? Well, where to begin; the list goes on. But "William Friedkin" is as good a place to begin as any.
What Hollywood needs, if it's ever going to claw its way back to cultural relevance, I'd say, give us three William Friedkins and we'll rule the world.
When you look at Friedkin's world, the breadth of the creative fearlessness, onscreen and off, takes your breath away. As does the notion that not too long ago there was an industry that accommodated that fearlessness. They didn’t make it easy for him — nor he for them — but it’s impossible to picture a spirit like that lasting an hour here in Streaming Wars-era Hollywood.
In William Friedkin's world, everything was big and everything was important. There were no small problems, no small questions, and no small films. And in his hands, film was a force to be marveled at and feared, and the people who created it cowered before no one.
You can boil down the current state of Hollywood creativity — and its crises — to this: never in history have more artists been more empowered to say more, and never in history have they said less. We have a million voices making films and shows in Hollywood, more than have ever been made before. And it all feels very much… the same.
Hollywood is suffering from a crisis of blandness.