The Big Red One

SERIES
Film Is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller’s War Movies

September 15–24

“A film is like a battleground,” says American director Samuel Fuller in his cameo in Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou. “There’s love, hate, action, violence, death. In one word, emotion.” For the hardboiled WWII veteran who began making movies in 1948, these words are meant both figuratively and literally. Whether looking at World War II, the Korean War, or the post-war period, war was his favorite subject. In his memoir A Third Face, he wrote vividly: “People who’ve never lived through it will never—never!—know what war’s unfeelingness feels like, never know the cold taste of metal in your mouth just before the violence begins, the wet toes, the churning in your stomach that seems like it’s going to burn a hole in your belly, the dull drumming in your brain, the ghoulish visions come to life. Hell, words just can’t describe it.” In her new book, Film Is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller’s War Movies (2017, Oxford University Press), Marsha Gordon, Professor of English at North Carolina State University, takes an in-depth look at the subject. She will introduce all of the screenings on the opening weekend, and will participate in a book signing on Saturday, September 16, after the screening of A Fuller Life.

Organized by guest curator Marsha Gordon, author Film Is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller’s War Movies