A Fuller Life, film review: A melancholic obsession with death and violence

(15) Samantha Fuller, 80 mins
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The Independent Culture

There has already been one very good documentary about the maverick American director Sam Fuller, 1996's The Typewriter, the Rifle and the Movie Camera. This new film, made by his daughter, Samantha Fuller, covers similar terrain but in a much more personal way.

Samantha appears on camera herself, one of her dad's rifles slung over her shoulder, to explain that every word in the film will come from her father's own autobiographical writings. She has assembled a small army of his admirers and collaborators to read the extracts. What comes through very clearly is Fuller's melancholic obsession with death and violence.

Whether as a teenage crime reporter covering stories from Death Row, or as a soldier on Omaha Beach and at the liberation of the Nazi death camps, Fuller witnessed, wrote about and filmed some ghoulish moments in 20th-century history. He was a prolfific and often outrageous film-maker whose work combined pulp and B-movie elements with flights of visionary lyricism. It is a little frustrating that her subjects aren't given the chance to explain their own connection to Fuller, but they read his works and bring his personality to life in a very vivid fashion.

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