Two of Samuel Fuller's best are screening tonight (Wednesday) on a double-bill at the Castro as part of Noir City X, the 10th annual San Francisco film noir festival. This is a rare chance to see two of Fuller's more ambitious and vibrant films on the big screen.
Set in post-war Japan, House of Bamboo (1955) doesn't look like a noir picture, even though its character and story elements fit that descriptor. That's because, shot in Technicolor and Cinemascope by Joseph MacDonald, it's one of the most beautifully photographed films we've seen. Japan was rebuilding its cities and national identity in the post-war years, and Fuller made excellent use of Bamboo's locations during that fascinating transitional moment.