Klute (introduced by Lizzie Borden)

“I love Klute for Jane Fonda’s Bree, full of contradictions – in one scene, she hums a hymn while smoking a joint and consulting Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. No victim, she feels empowered by hooking and objectified by modeling auditions. She is the most modern of sex workers.” –Lizzie Borden

Moody neo-noir and the first film in Alan J. Pakula’s paranoid trilogy (followed by The Parallax View and All the President’s Men), murder mystery Klute is a stylish and shadowy hot bolt of anxiety. Bree Daniels (a steely Jane Fonda at the height of her fame) is a brash, bohemian call girl, thrust into the orbit of small town detective Klute (Donald Sutherland in one of his first major performances) yet determined to maintain the power she so effortlessly wields. The film’s magnetic dread washes over the two – and 1970s New York – as they marginally upend each others’ psyches, bit by bit. Ambiguous editing and masterful cinematography by Gordon Willis (The Godfather, Manhattan) ratchet up terror around the mysterious, murderous presence, but also the film’s other horror: the violent politics of relationships between men and women.

Dir. Alan J. Pakula, 1971, 35mm, 114 min.