"If you think I'm a thief, honey, you're crazy."

"Where did you buy my engagement ring?"

"Why did you buy a plane ticket for Mexico City?"

"I can't tell you."

"You're lying."

"You've got the wrong man."

"Arrest me all you like, but try to prove something about me, just try it!"

I've spent more time reading about The Naked City (1948) than actually watching the film, so it's nice to have another go on TCM this morning. (For some of those readings, see here and here.)

Questions: What does my pocket-sized camera owe to the darkroom in the trunk of Weegee's car?

In the film, the camera gravitates to a vertical axis: shots peering out a window on streets below, descending a subway stair in noir shadows, climbing down a fire escape with bright diagonals of light. The film ends with a fugitive retreating up the exposed stairs of the Brooklyn Bridge and peering down at an urban life that will go on without him (a flow of traffic, pedestrians, work, play, etc.). The fugitive is shot and falls to his death, but right before impact the camera cuts away to a panoramic view of the city.

This vertical movement differs from Oppen's ground-level perspective. In Discrete Series (1934), the poems glance up at a city architecture that has few distinct contours:
He has chosen a place
With the usual considerations,
Without stating them.
"It brightens up into the branches / And against the same buildings"

"In a soil of pavement, a mesh of wires where she walks / In the new winter among enormous buildings."

Discrete Series: "People everywhere, time and the work / pauseless..."
Naked City: "There are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."

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