THE LONG HAUL OF A.I. BEZZERIDES + KISS ME DEADLY
THE LONG HAUL OF A.I. BEZZERIDES
Executive produced by George Pelecanos (THE DEUCE, THE WIRE), Fay Efrosini Lellios' documentary celebrates the life of singular artist A. I. Bezzerides: novelist, screenwriter, contemporary of William Faulkner and John Fante and the last of the proletariat poets. Bezzerides' cinematic output includes the screenplays for film noir classics THIEVES' HIGHWAY, ON DANGEROUS GROUND and KISS ME DEADLY, among others, and his novel "The Long Haul" was adapted into the 1940 hit THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT. The documentary features contributions by Pelecanos, filmmaker Jules Dassin, crime novelist Mickey Spillane, author and screenwriter Barry Gifford and more, with music by DC-based rockers Fugazi. DIR/PROD Fay Efrosini Lellios. U.S., 2005, color, 56 min. NOT RATED
KISS ME DEADLY
"Blood-Red Kisses, White-Hot Thrills!" Mickey Spillane's tough-talking New York detective Mike Hammer gets a California makeover in this cult favorite by genre innovator Robert Aldrich, working from a gonzo script by A. I. Bezzerides. Atomic Age fears find their foil in modern L.A.'s sprawling landscape of violence and corruption, in which Ralph Meeker's Hammer sneers with sarcastic cool. Equal parts narcissist and sadist, Hammer lives in a swanky bachelor pad, drives his Corvette too fast and is drawn by ego and curiosity into a murder investigation — despite clear danger to all around him. Hammer's search is inventively filmed by Ernest Laszlo across Los Angeles locations, from Bunker Hill and Beverly Hills to the isolated Malibu beach house where the "great whatsit" finally makes its big reveal. Excellent support is provided by Nick Dennis ("va-va-voom!"), Juano Hernandez and femmes Cloris Leachman, Maxine Cooper, Gaby Rodgers and Marian Carr. DIR/PROD Robert Aldrich; SCR A. I. Bezzerides, from the novel by Mickey Spillane. U.S., 1955, b&w, 106 min. NOT RATED
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