Noted for his tabloid-influenced storytelling style, breathless camera work, and extreme close-ups, Fuller was a pugnacious, tough-as-nails man whose movies reflect a uniquely personal vision; obsessed with themes of falsehood and deception, his films illuminated the cultural divisions at the heart of American society, depicting a grim, immoral world far removed from the placid surface typically on display in more mainstream fare. Celebrated as a genius by his fans, and denounced as a sensationalist by his detractors, Fuller was a deeply patriotic man quick to criticize his country’s flaws, as well as a raw, anarchic filmmaker capable of moments of inexpressible beauty; such contradictions fueled and ultimately defined both him and his body of work, which continues to exert tremendous influence over such prominent filmmakers as Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Jim Jarmusch. Samuel Michael Fuller was born August 12, 1912, in Worcester, MA, and raised in New York City; at the age… read more
Usually this is not considered as one of the main picks of Fuller. Because, its grand sryle and unlike splendor such is not a hollmark from the director. Some says the picture is full of plot contradiction and misunderstandings of Japanese culture. But, so what! It is a Fuller fiim, and certainly this one is. I agree with Godard or Dave Thomson, that the film is a gem with full of creativity. What a masterpiece.
Working in colour and widescreen, Fuller took his crew off to Japan with 20th Century Fox money to shoot this gorgeous looking drama which portrays his key themes of dual identities and divided loyalties. Stack is bland as the military policeman who infiltrates a crime gang run with ruthless efficiency by Ryan, who completely overshadows him. Godard was a big fan of Fuller with this film being a particular favourite.
As I said in a blog I used to run: "There seems to be a statement being made concerning the clash of the American and Japanese cultures, but the Japanese female lead tended to drag the story. It works best as the brutal crime film it truly is, allowing Fuller to craft that tough guy characters that he loved to work with."
Samuel Fuller in Japan, like tabloid ink sprayed on kakejiku scrolls.
What the critics are saying about this week’s theatrical releases — and a few of last week’s as well.
It's a pretty interesting week for theatrical releases, and we'll get to those in a moment, but it's an outstanding week for Robert Ryan