I haven’t seen Alan Pakula‘s Klute (’71) since…well, I might have watched it on laser disc in the ’90s or at a repertory cinema in the early ’80s…maybe. But I haven’t seen it on a big screen in eons. I might just catch it tomorrow night at the Aero. Slow burn whodunit + ’70s Manhattan noir + richly-drawn characters + wide-open emotional exposure + simmering sexuality. The following tribute video was put together by the San Francisco-based La Belle Aurore Films. They claim on their page that “cinema is our mistress.” Then why don’t they un-distort the images in this montage, which are obviously horizontally squeezed?
Alan Pakula (speaking to friend in 1970): “You know, I’ve been sensing this vibe lately, this odd paranoid vibe, especially in New York and other towns. Things aren’t working out, people are perturbed, they hate the war, they hate Nixon and they feel alienated by straight society.”
Alan Pakula: “And I’m thinking I’d like to make a film about this. Or better yet, maybe three.”
Friend: “About urban paranoia?”
Alan Pakula: “Yeah.”
Friend: “Why three? Why not just one?”
Alan Pakula: “It’s just coming to me so I haven’t got it sorted out yet but…it’s hard to explain why but I’m just kind of sensing that…possibly that one paranoid film might not be enough.”
Alan Pakula: “Maybe a movie about a guy killing women in New York. A low-key love story with the murder mystery going on the whole time.”
Friend: “The paranoid trilogy.”
Alan Pakula: “That’s something a critic would say.”
Friend: “Trust me — if you make three films with a similar urban paranoid vibe, films about hidden creepy things going in behind closed doors and in dark places, somebody is going to come up with that phrase.
Alan Pakula: “If it happens, it happens.”