"Show it! Two little words. It's better than five hundred words of discussion."
In the early twentieth century, the art world was captivated by the totally original paintings of Henri Rousseau, who, seemingly without formal art training, produced works that astonished not only the public but great artists such as Pablo Picasso. Samuel Fuller (1912-1997) is known as the "Rousseau of the cinema," a mostly "B" genre Hollywood moviemaker deeply admired by "A" filmmakers as diverse as Jim Jarmusch, Martin Scorsese, Fran�ois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and John Cassavetes, all of them dazzled by Fuller's wildly idiosyncratic primitivist style.
A high-school dropout who became a New York City tabloid crime reporter in his teens, Fuller went to Hollywood and made movies post-World War II that were totally in line with his exploitative newspaper work: bold, blunt, pulpy, exciting. Behind the camera between 1949 and 1989 for twenty-three features (such as Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss, Verboten!, Pickup on South Street) Fuller is the very definition of a "cult" director. He is most appreciated by those with a certain bent of subterranean taste, a penchant for what critic Manny Farber famously labeled "termite art." Samuel Fuller: Interviews, edited by Gerald Peary, is not only informative about the filmmaker's career but sheer fun, following the wild stream of Fuller's uninhibited chatter.
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University Press of Mississippi
June 01, 2012
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