“Why Sam Fuller?” a new essay by Tag Gallagher, in the latest issue of Senses of Cinema, asks. Aficionados might wonder, why even ask? But perhaps they forget that the two-fisted termite art of this now much-heralded genre filmmaker was once considered quite disreputable. In his absorbing visual, biographical, and thematic analysis, Gallagher delves into the question of Sam Fuller, whom—for his inspiration to the New Wave and psychologically consistent cinematic provocations—he dubs “the complete auteur.”

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