by Annette Insdorf.
It’s timely that A Fuller Life — a documentary celebrating Samuel Fuller’s career — opens Friday at the Laemmle Noho 7 in Los Angeles, and that the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris has just mounted a massive retrospective of Francois Truffaut’s work. The internationally revered French filmmaker died thirty years ago on October 21 — at the age of 52 — while the 17th anniversary of Fuller’s passing (at 85) is October 30.
The two directors — who often expressed mutual admiration — were fiercely independent, making movies that were often deeply personal. Truffaut wrote in 1960 — just after directing his first feature, The 400 Blows — “I always come away from Samuel Fuller films both admiring and jealous.” And when I was Truffaut’s translator for a 1979 American Film Institute retrospective of his work, Fuller was one of the American directors about whom I heard him speak reverentially.
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