Good evening, I'm George Clooney," were director William Friedkin's first words at a press conference here Thursday ahead of the ceremony where he is to receive the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

While "The French Connection" won five Oscars and that film and "The Exorcist" were his greatest box-office successes, Friedkin said the 1977 feature "Sorcerer" is what he would like to be remembered for.

"Sorcerer," which will be screened at this year's Venice festival in a restored version, "came the closest to my vision of it," the filmmaker said.

Friedkin, who turned 78 on Thursday, said he could not have made his most recent feature films, "Bug" (2006) and "Killer Joe (2011)," working within the Hollywood system.

"Hollywood today is like a big casino where you gamble and put all the chips on one turn of a card," he said.

The studios, according to Friedkin, are only interested if the screenplay has "someone wearing a spandex suit with a letter on his chest flying around the world saving it from evil. Somebody who can kill vampires or zombies."

"I don't want to do that. I don't even want to watch it," he said. EFE