Klute

An American Icon: In Praise of Jane Fonda, AFI’s Life Achievement Award Winner of 2014

Jane Fonda

The roles she began to play during this period revealed a growing socio-political awareness.

Female Identity and Performance: An Appreciation of Alan Pakula’s ‘Klute’ (1971)

Jane Fonda as Bree Daniels

Klute is one of the key American films of the 1970s. Engaging with themes of surveillance and voyeurism, Alan Pakula’s masterpiece is, first of all, an absorbing, suspenseful thriller. It owes its intimidating ambiance, in great part, to Gordon Willis’s extraordinarily skillful and innovative photography. Klute, however, transcends the genre in the many ways it addresses contemporary gender politics; the New York-set neo-noir is both a character-driven study of female identity and sexuality as well as an unsettling portrait of misogyny. Starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland–two of the most interesting cinematic icons of the day–Klute is also an actor’s film. Fonda won a richly deserved Best Actress Oscar for her outstanding central performance.