Tag Archives: Night Moves (1975)

Projection Booth podcast #352: Kiss Me Deadly

It was a joy and a thrill to join film scholar Kevin Heffernan and Mike White, host of the terrific Projection Booth podcast, for an episode of his show on what is probably my favourite film noir, Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly (1955).

Kiss Me Deadly is one of those films I watch every year or so and always find something new to appreciate about it. Talking with my two co-podcasters, I discovered even more to like about it. Issues canvassed during this podcast include:

Mike Hammer (and Mickey Spillane) as the personification of the crisis in post WWII masculinity, and the women in the film as examples of females who are fighting against the confines of their role in American society in the 1950s.

Pulp fiction.

The film’s popularity in France, particularly within surrealist circles for its depiction of the incoherence of everyday life and mass commercial culture.

The Cold War nuclear state, paranoia and surveillance.

THAT answering machine.

Jack Elam.

Ernest Laszlo’s sensational cinematography.

Los Angeles’ former Bunker Hill area as the 1940s/50s B-movie/noir outdoor film shooting location of choice.

The psychiatrist as an archetypal villain in 1940s/1950s American film.

Other fictional noir detective equivalents to Mike Hammer, including Harry Moseby in Arthur Penn’s 1975 film, Night Moves (okay that last part might of been just me).… Read more

Night Moves

One of the things I like best about the Christmas/New Year period is it’s a good chance to catch up on my movie viewing. This holiday season I re-watched the neo-noir, Night Moves. Made in 1973, but not released until 1975, Night Moves belongs to a period of US film making that is probably my favourite. It’s a complex, meandering and multi-layered film that perfectly captures the moral and political ambiguity of the time. I wanted to review Night Moves for this site but discovered a recent post on the same topic that does it much better than I ever could by a friend called Dean Brandum.

Dean’s the man behind a terrific web site called Technicolor Yawn (for overseas readers that’s Australian slang for throwing up), which chronicles the history of Melbourne’s now vanished grindhouse cinema scene in the seventies and early eighties. He’s a great guy and what he doesn’t know about cinema is not worth knowing. The following review appeared on his site in mid-December. Enjoy.

BTW, I’ll be interviewing Dean about Melbourne’s forgotten grindhouse cinema scene on Pulp Curry sometime in the next few weeks.

“I remember Bobby (Kennedy) when he got shot, the newsreels made it look like everything was happening under water” – Paula (Jennifer Warren) in Night Moves 

It’s that certain visual aesthetic; let’s call it “muted Cannon with a chance of showers” that veneers so many Los Angeles set film noir of the early 1970s, differentiating it from the monochrome 40s-50s and the swimming pool enhanced glare of the 1960s.… Read more