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Santa Monica College to Host Sam Fuller Film Series

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By Lookout Staff

October 30, 2015 -- Film director Samuel Fuller, whose low-budget movies have been admired by major filmmakers for two generations, will be the subject of a special series next month at Santa Monica College, school officials announced this week.

The second annual Samuel Fuller Film Series includes screening of three of the director’s films, a documentary about his career by his daughter, Samantha Fuller, and audience discussions moderated SMC Political Science professor Alan Buckley and SMC Film Studies professor Josh Kanin.

Fuller’s widow, Christa Fuller, and his daughter, who will introduce the films, will take part in the discussions and offer “unique personal insights” into Fuller’s life and work, officials said.

The series kicks off Friday, November 13 at 6:30 p.m. with “A Fuller Life,” Samantha Fuller’s “revealing” documentary “featuring newly discovered home movies and readings by a wide range of his collaborators and fellow travelers,” series organizers said.

The 2013 documentary “follows the passionate individualist” Samuel Fuller on his path from New York tabloid crime reporter to Hollywood, where he would become “an audacious visionary renowned for his low-budget genre movies with controversial themes.”

The documentary will be followed by a screening Saturday, November 14 at 1 p.m. of one of Fuller’s most controversial films, “Shock Corridor,” a “satirical commentary on racism and other hot issues in 1960s America,” officials said. 

The 1963 film, which features “daring cinematography” by Stanley Cortez, charts “the uneasy terrain between sanity and madness” as a Pulitzer Prize-seeking investigative reporter has himself committed to a mental hospital to investigate a murder, organizers said.

That evening at 6: 30, there will be a screening of Fuller’s “bold and pulpy” 1964 cultural satire “The Naked Kiss,” which tells the story of a former prostitute who “relocates to a buttoned-down suburb and tries to fit in.”

The series concludes Sunday November 15 at 6:30 p.m. with a screening of Fuller’s 1974 film “Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street,” which organizers describe as “a not-so-serious film – complete with a gun battle in a nursery – that romps knowingly through an assemblage of international diplomats and underhanded scammers.”

Fuller’s style influenced French New Wave directors and was admired by American filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, among others. 

The series is sponsored by the SMC Associates (, SMC Communication & Media Studies Department, and SMC Political Science Department. All screenings are FREE and are held in Room 165 of the SMC Humanities & Social Science (HSS) building, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Seating is on a first-arrival basis.

For additional information, call (310) 434-4588 or (310) 434-4510.

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