Monday, June 15, 2009

Film Noir Poetry

I’ve written a script/poem that uses only classical-era film noir titles for words, making it arguably more referential than a Tarantino screenplay. Punctuation and formatting has been used to manipulate the meaning, but there should be no added words. See if you can follow the story and recognize all the films. (I’ve by no means seen them all myself!)

Kansas City _________ [[[Confidential]]]
‘Crime Wave Niagara’
‘Underworld USA’
‘The City that Never Sleeps The Big Sleep’

Black Tuesday, Nightfall.
Moonrise.
I Walk Alone Down Three Dark Streets.
So Dark the Night; The Night and the City.

Danger Signal! Sudden Fear.
Cause for Alarm?
Tension…
Suspense…

Clash By Night.
Witness to Murder!
Crime of Passion? Murder By Contract?
Crack-Up, Vertigo, Whirlpool… “...Angel Face?”
*Blackout*

I Wake Up Screaming.
T-men: “The Killers?”
[Spellbound] “…Phantom Lady...”
Ruthless Rogue Cop: “Gun Crazy Guilty Bystander.”

?!
Panic in the Streets
"#%$&! Raw Deal."
The Wrong Man Pursued!

The Chase:
99 River Street, 711 Ocean Drive,
Plunder Road, Scarlet Street.
(Sunset Boulevard - Nightmare Alley)
He Ran All the Way, He Walked All Night.

Mystery Street; The Street with No Name.
Detour? One Way Street…
Roadblock!
Suddenly Cornered. No Way Out.
Pickup on South Street.

Accused of Murder Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Convicted: “The Killer Is Loose Among the Living!”
They Won’t Believe Me!Cry of the City: “Rope The Accused.”
Railroaded Behind Locked Doors.

Caged In a Lonely Place.
The Big Clock, The Long Wait, The Desperate Hours
Journey Into Fear…
Private Hell 36

Betrayed? Framed?
Suspicion: I Married a Communist.
The Suspect: Rebecca, Laura, Gilda?
Out of the Past, The Dark Past, Shock!
“The Unholy Wife: …M-Mildred Pierce!”

I Want to Live!
The Breaking Point (The Turning Point?)
“Notorious Black Widow,
Force of Evil Born to Kill,
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye!!!”

Body and Soul Possessed.
Desperate Act of Violence:
Bodyguard Conflict
The Dark Passage => High Wall.
Loophole: The Window! Ivy…
Side Street… Asphalt Jungle!
Illegal Second Chance!

Knock on Any Door.
{House of Strangers}
“Call Northside 777.” Dial M for Murder

...****...****...(The Postman Always Rings Twice)
Mildred Pierce: “Johnny?” [Eager]
“Sorry, Wrong Number.” Beware, My Lovely!

Fallen Angel, Somewhere in the Night;
The Night of the Hunter.
The Set-Up, The Trap, Temptation Lured...
Caught The Guilty Mildred Pierce!
Sweet Smell of Success!!

Human Desire… Inferno Fury
I, the Jury.
Shadow of a Doubt…?
Time.
Without Pity.

“Follow Me Quietly.”

Brute Force, The Killing Kiss of Death:
*Impact*
“Murder, My Sweet,” I Confess.

Pushover The Narrow Margin
The Lady in the Lake
The Raging Tide,
Undercurrent…
Dark Waters…
[Blast of Silence]

“Sleep, My Love. Nobody Lives Forever.”

Hollow Triumph? Too Late for Tears.
Leave Her to Heaven…

4 comments:

Patrick said...

This is solid postmodern poetry. I recognized plenty of titles and could follow your story fine. I can only imagine how much time you spent on this.

Walrus said...

You don't even want to know.
The worst part was finding out that blogspot forcibly eliminates any white space that it considered unnecessary and silently removes several punctuation types. I had to rework things just to get it to show up reasonably close to my original vision.

Patrick said...

Sadly, I've learned Blogspot will do a lot of very minor but occasionally significant format modifications without telling you what's going on. I've always managed to work around them, but still.

Kathryn said...

Cool. I think this secures you another nerd point.