Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Samuel Fuller

One of America's best film directors, and one of its most distinctive auteurs, was born in 1912, lived eighty five years and made the kind of raw, brutal and primitive (in the most positive sense) films that independent filmmakers have seemingly forgotten how to make. It's always a pleasure to pull another Sam Fuller picture out of the vault, or The Pirate Bay, and make it play. So far, I've seen:
  • Fixed Bayonets! (1951) about comradery during the Korean war.
  • Park Row (1952), an absolute gem about the beginnings of the newspaper business in 19th century New York.
  • Pickup on South Street (1953), where men steal and ideologies crash in one of the cinema's greatest film noir.
  • Forty Guns (1957), a visually dazzling pre-David Lynch western with Barbara Stanwyck.
  • Merrill's Marauders (1962), where WWII Burma comes alive and dies.
And there are many more to go, but in doses, man, in doses. Every hour spent with Samuel Fuller is an hour well spent. I'm that way with Yasujiro Ozu, too. Both men made amazing art.