I’m interested in the Cinefamily Sorcerer screenings (4.16 thru 4.24) but not as much as others because I saw a mint-condition print of William Friedkin‘s 1977 classic at BAM on May 2, 2013, which Friedkin spoke at. (I remember it extra-clearly because my big love affair of 2013 had begun the night before and I was pretty much levitating.) The long-awaited Sorcerer Bluray streets on 4.22.14.

“According to Friedkin, the most important scene in the film was the bridge-crossing sequence, wherein two trucks had to separately cross an old wooden suspension bridge that appears completely unstable. Friedkin deemed it the most arduous scene he has ever filmed,” says the Wiki page.

“The bridge was designed by John Box using carefully hidden hydraulic components allowing control of the movements of the bridge and the trucks alike. Its first iteration was constructed in the Dominican Republic over a period of three months, and it required $1 million to complete. However, as soon as it was finished, Friedkin’s crew faced a problem of abnormally low rainfall. During the construction process, the river’s water level decreased dramatically, and by the time the bridge was assembled, the river had become completely dry, despite the assurance of local engineers that there had not been any recorded fluctuations in water level during the dry season.

“Studio executives suggested Friedkin devise a less sophisticated scene, but instead he continued to realize his vision in different locations. Thus, John Box went to scout locations in Mexico and found that the Papaloapan River possessed similar characteristics. The previously constructed bridge had to be disassembled and re-anchored. Ultimately, this river also became stricken with drought, which forced the application of some practical effects to complete the scene. In order to create artificial rain, Friedkin employed sewage pumps draining water from the river and diverting it to a sprinkler system.

“This scene alone, which lasts 12 minutes, took several months to complete and cost approximately $3 million dollars. The director has claimed that during this sequence, the truck teetering against the ropes actually tipped over into the river several times, causing numerous retakes.”