Episode One Hundred Fifty Five: Freight.
In which we keep it simple.

1 comment:

  1. Klute (1971) directed by Alan J. Pakula, starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. I had seen this decades ago, but re-watched as it was promoted by Criterion as part of a surveillance paranoia collection of films. Don’t remember connecting with it when I watched it before, probably some time in my twenties. I think I remember recalling finding it kind of boring.

    This time around, I was surprised at how focused I found its story: a portrait of a person coming to terms living with hope. The thriller aspect, particularly the anti-climactic ending, deliberately ancillary – the story is character-based, and not plot-based.

    Several images remained, one turning point the gentle close-ups of Fonda’s face when she and Sutherland are at a street market at night, she standing behind him, privately sizing up how it feels to have someone to stand next to, trustingly. Another image, an establishing shot as the two track down a junkie. There’s nothing particularly striking about that shot, but I was drawn to it and used it as a base for my initial frame. A bit of color tweak, and I am quite happy with it.

    Fonda’s therapy session, and that set back to nihilism formed the core of the sentiment of the strip. That scene is followed by the subsequent two: it goes from that to Sutherland riding a freight elevator, looking up. Jump cut to the ceiling above the elevator: a cage retaining random wooden boards, and a skylight. Dingy yellow light comes down from above, but it’s fairly inaccessible. We don’t know it yet, but Sutherland is traveling deep into the bowels of this industrial storage house to examine the forgotten remnants of another forgotten person.

    And that struck me while watching the film: those three images in tandem. Acknowledgement of a loss of hope, and an unexplained rising in an industrial lift, the ceiling coming closer, but forbidding and inaccessible. As if giving up was its own cage.

    As I said, happy with first frame, happy with last. What’s going on in the third frame is not at all clear, bit it’s still ok. Really wish I could figure out how to do speech balloons.



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