Buckminster Fuller 1895-1983
American Masters: Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud (1996)
"Whenever I draw a circle, I immediately want to step out of it."

So said R. Buckminster Fuller, who, for the better part of the 20th century, went where no man had gone before as the maverick captain of the planet he called "Spaceship Earth." An architect, designer, engineer, poet, philosopher, author and global iconoclast, Fuller was a true visionary, a Renaissance man best remembered as creator of the geodesic dome. As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, AMERICAN MASTERS profiles "Bucky" Fuller, the man who has been called a 20th century Da Vinci, a modern Ben Franklin, and a jet-age Emerson.

What did his contemporaries think of him? See clips & quotes from the film, plus previously unpublished excerpts from the film's interviews.

In Buckminster Fuller's world, cars had three wheels, houses were to be delivered by blimps, and cities were to be built inside floating spheres. To many, Fuller was a genius; to others, a crackpot. To most, he was both. This insightful documentary lets viewers decide for themselves about the man considered to be one of the 20th century's most distinguished, innovative and controversial thinkers. "Fuller's journey on 'Spaceship Earth' encompassed nearly a century of American life," said AMERICAN MASTERS Executive Producer Susan Lacy. "He's an ideal and fascinating subject for the series because he played such a major role in so many important historical and cultural movements, from the Machine Age to the counter-culture of the 1960s."

This first documentary on Fuller since his death in 1983 is produced and directed by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon. New York Times film critic Janet Maslin, one of the critics at this past winter's Sundance Film Festival, singled it out as one of the most promising films and "an especially insightful and colorful portrait."

"It's remarkable how Fuller urged everyone to think globally and act ecologically long before most people had even heard the words," said Ms. Goodman. Added Mr. Simon, "We were so fortunate to be the first journalists to be given access to Fuller's archive and unpublished personal papers."

Buckminster Fuller in UbuWeb Sound