Item description for The Films of Samuel Fuller: If You Die, I'll Kill You (Wesleyan Film) by Lisa Dombrowski...
A cigar-chomping storyteller who signaled "Action!" by shooting a gun, Samuel Fuller has been lionized as one of the most distinctive writer/directors ever to emerge from Hollywood. In such films as The Steel Helmet, Pickup on South Street, Shock Corridor, and The Big Red One, Fuller gleefully challenged classical and generic norms--and often standards of good taste--in an effort to shock and arouse audiences. Tackling war, crime, race, and sexuality with a candor rare for any period, Fuller's maverick vision was tested by Hollywood's transition from the studio system to independent filmmaking. Now, in the first full account of all of the director's audaciously original work, author Lisa Dombrowski brings his career into new relief. The Films of Samuel Fuller features close analysis of Fuller's pictures and draws on previously untapped production and regulatory files, script notes, and interviews to explore how artistic, economic, and industrial factors impacted Fuller's career choices and shaped the expression of his personal aesthetic. Fans of Fuller and American cinema will welcome this in-depth study of a provocative director who embodied both the unique opportunities and challenges of postwar filmmaking.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6.5" Height: 9" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Mar 31, 2008
ISBN 081956866X ISBN13 9780819568663
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More About Lisa Dombrowski
LISA DOMBROWSKI is an associate professor of film studies at Wesleyan University.
director Sam Fuller in the context of post-War Hollywood Apr 29, 2008
In contrast to the majority of works on film directors based largely on biography, psychology, and analyses of recurring motifs in the films, Dombrowski--associate professor of film at Wesleyan--considers the American director Sam Fuller in the context of the Hollywood of his times. Fuller was a leading director in the first generation of American film directors following World War II; though some of his films go back before then. Dombrowski's approach to studying him is based on "economic, industrial, and institutional forces" Fuller had to deal with and confront in making his films.
For the rawness of parts of Fuller's films--brutality, cruelty, or sadism--he is usually seen as deliberately trying to break conventions and provoke or outrage the audience. But Dombrowski's regard is more involved. Unfailingly seeing him in the context of Hollywood and implicitly understanding Hollywood in the context of American culture of the time, the author sees him as "an adaptive provocateur" never losing sight of his goals of "revealing truth and arousing emotion."
Dombrowski also recognizes the fact--often seemingly forgotten in film studies--that Fuller could not have made his high-budget films intended for a mass audience without the support of others in the film industry. Nor would he have achieved the success he did without connecting with the interests and dispositions of movie-goers. Fuller was the director of The Big Red One, Fix Bayonets, China Gate, Merrill's Marauders, and Shock Corridor, among other films; and he wrote or co-wrote many movie and TV scripts and documentaries. In war, urban, and other contemporary or recent settings, he dealt unsparingly with issues of race, war, crime, and sexuality at the core of American society.
Fuller remains a somewhat ambivalent figure in American film; a view Dombrowski's summation of him as the "adaptive provocateur" seconds. Despite ambivalences pertaining to Fuller, there is no doubt that he was a precursor of both mainstream filmmakers doing movies involving crime and other social topics in a style of gritty realism such as Scorcese and also independent filmmakers exploring new techniques and dramatizations. Different aspects of Fuller's ambivalences have influenced different veins of American filmmaking.