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Robert Aldrich was born into an extremely wealthy family He became an assistant director in Hollywood working in the 1945 - 1952 period with many directors A notably high percentage of these were in the extreme left Jean Renoir Lewis Milestone Robert Rossen Joseph Losey Charles Chaplin Kiss Me Deadly 1955 is Aldrichs most remarkable film Aldrich began directing in 1953 and by then the film noir cycle had run its course as a Hollywood phenomenon peaking in the years 1942 - 1951 However film noirs were still being made steadily through the 1950s and many of these works were classics of the cycle There is a remarkably detailed visual analysis of the film in Kiss Me Deadly Evidence of a Style by Alain Silver in Film Noir Reader 1996 edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini The remarks below are simply intended to point out a few more things about this film one of the most complex and creative of all film noirs The staging in Kiss Me Deadly shows a three dimensional quality Partly this is due to depth of field Many scenes keep in focus far into the rear of the scene This is a technique associated in Hollywood with Orson Welles Aldrich is often considered to be a Welles disciple There are other techniques that aid in the films 3D quality 1 The showing of an irregular wall along one side of the shot When Mike Hammers car pulls up to a gas station near the beginning of the film we see the entire front of the gas station along the right side of the shot The gas station facade is by no means smooth it contains many projections All of these are fully lit up The gas station is shot as if it were an elaborate piece of sculpture like one of Louise Nevelsons friezes As the camera moves past it it emphasizes the stations complex 3D qualities The projections
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