directed by Alexandre O. Philippe
by Walter Chaw There's a moment in Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on 'The Exorcist' (hereafter Leap of Faith), the latest feature from cinephile documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe (78/52), where Friedkin talks about a shot he framed so that Max Von Sydow is in the foreground of the Tomb of Nebuchadnezzar. It's followed fast by Friedkin talking about how he didn't intend anything in The Exorcist. In other words, he says he didn't impose meaning and then immediately offers exceptions. He brings up instinctual filmmaking after speaking to how carefully he developed the script to be a series of slow revelations and portents. Friedkin is, in short, a mass of contradictions. But rather than look on it as disingenuousness or confusion, I sense that he doesn't really know why The Exorcist works the way it does, but it got under his skin and into his bed in the same way it has for audiences these past 47 years. We do our best to dance about architecture, but in the end, architecture can only be enhanced by the dance, not defined by it.