76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

Discuss Blu-rays released by Indicator and the films on them.

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domino harvey
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Re: Indicator

#26 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:15 pm

beamish13 wrote:Technically, shouldn't the Fuller boxset include Let's Get Harry, which he has a story credit on?
It's hilariously schlocky nonsense, and it gives you the chance to see Gary Busey, Biff Tanen from Back to the Future, and Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles use machine guns in Latin American jungles to rescue Mark Harmon.
No, because this is just porting over the films from the R1 Sony box

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Re: Indicator

#27 Post by senseabove » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:24 pm

dda1996a wrote:Any word on any of those Fuller films?
I enjoyed though wasn't bowled over by Underworld when I first saw it, but it's stuck with me in a weird way, and there are several scenes that have popped back in my head for various reasons, so I'm excited to revisit it—I was holding off on the TT disc specifically because of rumors that Indicator had it. Crimson Kimono is excellent, really shockingly progressive for a variety of reasons with some wonderfully nuanced character study, especially for a noir, and it's just a great little noir for a dozen other reasons after that. If you like Fuller otherwise, these are definitely safe buys.

I don't know anything about the others, but as a Sirk devotee, I'm excited about Shockproof especially. As others have said, I doubt we'd get any of these on BD otherwise.

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Re: Indicator: Samuel Fuller at Columbia

#28 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:27 pm

Shockproof is the best film of the lot, though Tomorrow is Another Day eclipses it with a similar set-up and superior execution. Still a great Noir though. Underworld USA is okay and Crimson Kimono ranks a little below that, but both are enjoyable for what they are. I don't remember a single thing about any of the other films!

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Re: Indicator: Samuel Fuller at Columbia

#29 Post by knives » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:01 pm

I really liked the two newspaper films as well though they've sort of fused into one movie in my mind.

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Re: Indicator: Samuel Fuller at Columbia

#30 Post by Drucker » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:10 pm

Park Row is so damn good I'm definitely in for more Fuller newspaper films.

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Re: Indicator: Samuel Fuller at Columbia

#31 Post by dda1996a » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:51 pm

I do love Park Row, but my favorite Fuller out of the few I've seen is Naked Kiss

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Re: Indicator: Samuel Fuller at Columbia

#32 Post by Rayon Vert » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:51 pm

Unfortunately I already acquired Kimono and Underworld from TT. The only other film I want to have here is Scandal Sheet (I didn’t think any of the others were keepers) but it feels too expensive to get this box just for this film.

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#33 Post by MichaelB » Fri May 04, 2018 3:21 pm

Full specs should be revealed in the next few days, but for now I can confirm that the official announcement currently understates the content of this box by several hours.

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#34 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 29, 2018 4:06 pm

Full and final specs:

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#35 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 29, 2018 4:16 pm

And yes, that really is a six-and-three-quarter-hour Sam Fuller interview split across The Crimson Kimono and Underworld USA, and glorious stuff it is too. I had to watch the whole thing twice and individual bits more often, and it never once felt like a chore.

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#36 Post by swo17 » Tue May 29, 2018 4:20 pm

Bah, the Peckinpah rushes were 4 hours longer :wink:

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76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#37 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 29, 2018 4:24 pm

But crucially lacking an interview with the man himself!

(I edited both, incidentally, although my input here was pretty minimal, and I gave up any idea of polishing the footage à la the Peckinpah project when I realised that Fuller overshot pretty much every reel of film, although thankfully the audio was recorded separately. He’d also start talking before “action!” was officially called, so I just left in all the clapperboards, leader, etc. and if the screen had to go blank occasionally - sometimes for minutes at a time - then so be it.)

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#38 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 29, 2018 4:37 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 4:16 pm
And yes, that really is a six-and-three-quarter-hour Sam Fuller interview split across The Crimson Kimono and Underworld USA, and glorious stuff it is too. I had to watch the whole thing twice and individual bits more often, and it never once felt like a chore.
Incredible addition! I recently said something about Arrow being the best in terms of extras, but I think I misspoke: it's clearly Indicator, and has been for some time-- mea culpa! Tell your bosses we love them

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#39 Post by Apperson » Tue May 29, 2018 5:10 pm

This all looks fantastic; a couple of points I want to raise:

1) How much of the video footage on the Crimson Kimono and Underworld U.S.A discs is standard-def, the combined footage seems to run over 5 hours on both? (This is not to second guess David Mackenzie; I know The Thing and Carrie for Arrow both had video footage totaling over five-hours and they came out great)

2) Would you be able to say how much of the supplements cover his pre-war careers in journalism and pulp-fiction writing; both seem salient to the films included in the set?

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76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#40 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 29, 2018 5:22 pm

Apperson wrote:This all looks fantastic; a couple of points I want to raise:

1) How much of the video footage on the Crimson Kimono and Underworld U.S.A discs is standard-def, the combined footage seems to run over 5 hours on both? (This is not to second guess David Mackenzie; I know The Thing and Carrie for Arrow both had video footage totaling over five-hours and they came out great)
As ever, David works out an appropriate size and bitrate for the main feature (thankfully, neither is particularly long at 82 and 99 mins), and only then calculates how to squeeze in the rest. While most of the shorter interviews are natively in 1080p (including, to our very pleasant surprise, the Sony pieces originally made a decade ago for the Sam Fuller DVD box), the long interview only survives in SD video. Had there been the slightest risk of compromising the main feature encodes, we’d most likely have split the long interview into four chunks across all four discs.

Incidentally, director Adam Simon was astonished (and utterly delighted) to hear that the raw footage still existed, as he’d been under the impression that all the surplus had been junked following the neg cut. When you see it, you’ll realise why this would have been an incalculable loss.
2) Would you be able to say how much of the supplements cover his pre-war careers in journalism and pulp-fiction writing; both seem salient to the films included in the set?
Fuller covers this (and much else) himself in exhaustive detail in the big interview. The booklet for vol 2 also contains extracts from his novel The Dark Page (on which Scandal Sheet was based). The video piece Sam Fuller’s Search for Truth also focuses on the period of his life before he became a director. So yes, it’s comprehensively covered.

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#41 Post by dwk » Tue May 29, 2018 5:41 pm

I have to say I'm not a fan of unedited interview footage, generally the gems are not worth the slog, but hot damn, unedited Samuel Fuller interview footage is where I'd make an exception.

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#42 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 29, 2018 5:42 pm

Plus I imagine an engaging and well-spoken interviewer like Tim Robbins also makes it additionally palatable

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76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#43 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 29, 2018 5:44 pm

I too am not normally in favour of unedited interview footage, which is why I bristled at the use of that phrase to describe the interview footage on Arrow’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (which was just as polished as any other interview, with technical flubs and repeat takes carefully excised), but when you see this stuff you’ll see that we really couldn’t have presented it any other way. Essentially, Tim Robbins just winds him up and lets him go - and full-on Fuller reminiscences about, say, working in 1930s tabloid newspapers for several minutes on end, complete with impressions not only of his colleagues but also the typesetting machines are worth their weight in gold.

Basically, I wanted to retain every last syllable that Fuller uttered - amazingly, he never repeats himself, aside from multiple takes of a shot of him and Tim Robbins “just happening to bump into each other” in Paris, but those were so funny that I couldn’t bear to cut them. However, I did cut some irrelevant technical stuff and silent footage of various Paris locations.

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#44 Post by dwk » Tue May 29, 2018 6:01 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:44 pm
Basically, I wanted to retain every last syllable that Fuller uttered ...
Don't blame you.

I'm super happy I asked Indicator if I should skip the Twilight Time release of The Crimson Kimono and they told me yes it'd be worth the wait. This set is sure to be up with the Criterion's Dietrich & von Sternberg box, their Night of the Living Dead and Arrow's Basket Case as one of my favorite releases of this year. Can't wait.

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#45 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Wed May 30, 2018 1:12 pm

I loved Fuller's narrative voice in his autobiography so these interviews sound dynamite. It'll be a chapter per tape then? Or a play all option where you can still skip ahead to the next tape?

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76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#46 Post by MichaelB » Wed May 30, 2018 1:40 pm

Six tapes per disc, each accessible either separately or as one three-hour-plus chunk. Each tape consists of three or four film reels, and so we skip-pointed the start of those as well. Because Robbins usually kicks off each reel with a question, it’s surprisingly easy to find what you’re after.

The tapes are presented in the order in which everything was shot, but in terms of material it’s pretty chronological - until the last two tapes, which consist of a blue screen interview dominated by a bout of word association in which Tim Robbins typically utters a word or two (“Communists”, “FDR”, “Adolf Hitler”, “Ronald Reagan”) and Fuller responds with a typically blunt capsule description of what he thinks of them. If you watch nothing else*, don’t miss tapes 11 and 12.

(*but you will - they’re totally addictive!)

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#47 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:26 am

The organization of the interview tapes sounds about perfect then. It's great you mention those latter two tapes because they sound like just the right appetizer to the rest of it.

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#48 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:54 pm

Caps-a-holic have added the new Indicator releases to their existing comparisons of:

The Crimson Kimono
Underworld USA

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Re: 76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#49 Post by Apperson » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:09 pm

This arrived direct from Powerhouse Films today and I've spent the day sampling it (in between looking after my parents' new puppy).

I sampled the first disc for the Tim Robbins piece and to peek at the transfers; both were great, the Tim Robbins piece perfectly explaining Fuller's desire for truth and how it translates into his direct style.

The main watch was Underworld U.S.A, which had a lot a of similarities from what I remember from Pickup on South Street in the three main characters, which Barry Forshaw happily points on his analysis, as well as Fuller's iconic use of close-ups; yet the film feels more direct with Fuller's personal interests in journalistic presentation away from Pickup's more traditional noir style. The transfer and digital presentation were of course fantastic with no damage or digital anomalies; I do feel b/w looks better than colour photography when not restored in 2k or 4k.

Though I feel as though I'm sticking my finger in the pie a bit in how I've gone about the set so far, it is damn good pie.

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76-79 Samuel Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961

#50 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:02 pm

The first full review (from Mondo Digital).

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