Saturday, November 8, 2008


So I’ve just finished it, ‘Klute’, that is. Directed in 1971 by one Alan J. Pakula, and what an outstanding film. My notes on the film, as a look over them now, don’t even comprise one page as I was completely enthralled the whole time. This is a film that when you’re watching it you think to yourself there is no possible way that this can be duplicated. As this film oozes with eroticism and suspense and just emotes far too unique a feeling to ever expect to hear from it again. It’s rather quite brilliant and just spectacularly put together, visually stunning, utterly suspenseful in the most withholding manner, and I wont even get started on Donald Sutherland.

Despite all this, what I did manage to jot down though, besides the obvious acting commendation was how impeccable the cinematography and music was. And my commentary will focus solely on those two attributes because they're impeccable. Either way to no word of a lie in my notes and quote directly I wrote: “some of the cinematography reminds me of The Parallax View.” I wrote about The Parallax View, a film about a reporter who gets in way over his head while investigating a senator’s assassination, for a film course I took a few years ago that focused on American Cinema from 1970s onwards. Now to my joyous surprise I found out that Pakula does not only direct both these films but also shares the same cinematographer, Gordon Willis, and original music by Michael Small.

The music is the most eerie thing ever in this film. Despite watching the film in mid daylight I was surprisingly really spooked by the it and the music was key in providing that atmosphere. I am going to try and find a snippet of it to express just how well done it is…. It’s the opening credits; sorry I couldn’t help myself they’re just great. The sound recording isn’t too good, but you’ll get the point of what I mean once you’ve heard it. Begin clip at 3:37:

Hopefully you felt it to, cause I get the creeps just thinking about.

On to cinematography, which is stunning in this film. If you can’t already see by the pictures posted. I am going to post one of my personal favorite scenes from the film. The sound is better on this one but the picture is something else. Listen out for the music also in this scene; cause it just shows how versatile Small is and how fitting the music is for this scene in comparison to the eerier sounds in the rest of the film. This is also telling of how well the music is used. Just watch:

Look how well the light is utilized in each frame, illuminating only some parts of the frame and its properties. It displays such a lulled atmosphere and physically focuses our sight to the characters solely. And we wont even get started on how eroticism operates in this film and how well it used in this scene.

Overall the film is rather flawless and I haven’t seen one of such quality in a while so it’s nice, keeps my spirits up. Everything has a place, a purpose and is maxed out in quality. Everything from story to plot, to lighting and composition, to music and sound has a strict place and it used rather precisely and never haphazardly which can happen a lot in films that employ suspense like this one. Both of the two clips I’ve posted demonstrate I think to an extent just how well things are put together in this film and how precisely everything is set up.

In the end the film demonstrates an enormous quality. Just how well the formal attributes of film style and film story can be used to comprise not something over the top but just right shows a precise genius in being withholding. The film is top notch and if your going to rent this one I suggest you rent The Parallax View while your at it, Warren Beatty and killer cinematography makes for a hell of a good time. Enjoy!


Jenna Rocca said...

This is indeed a flawless film. Did Fonda deserve that Oscar or what? It's also fabulous how they were really lovers at the time. But really, just like "Paralax" this movie is astonishing. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Great post!

Amanda said...

Thanks :D