Fuller positions the violent and uncontrollable force of racism as a chilling reminder of two centuries of American barbarism. He sharply acknowledges the desire of the establishment to simply kill the beast, combating the immediate problem but ignoring the conditions that led to it. It shifts the emphasis from one beast to another; rage is a kinetic energy that can be diverted by powerful political and sociological drives but, critically, it eludes eradication and is thus impossible to ignore. What's more, Fuller is one of the very few directors who can move the camera with flair and exuberance without drawing too much attention to himself.
The many swoops and pans in White Dog transform the potentially drab mise-en-scene into a treasure trove of cinephile ephemera. With the high-concept cinematic monoliths of the eighties just around the corner, Fuller takes stock of an industry in flux. We hear of animals being replaced by robots in films; life is ultimately disposable in the mechanised cinematic future. Fuller has always understood that cinema is a delicate balance between magic and artifice; and his genius was in maintaining that through westerns, film noirs and even racial allegories.
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