Did You Win: Klute Contest
No one nailed it, but...
This was a tough one.
And no, I wasn’t going to choose an easy one, like when Bree looks at her watch. It’s interesting how Klute uses both the tapes as a device—to revisit the past—and the therapist as a device—to externalize Bree’s feelings. And both act as audio bridges to carry us and contrast with other scenes.
But as an answer I was really looking for this:
We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing:
Sing praises to his name; he forgets not his own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Whose kingdom calls all to the love which endures.
So from the beginning the fight we were winning:
You, Lord, were at our side; all glory be yours!
It’s the German Catholic hymn We Gather Together. Bree pours a fishbowl of wine, lights a fat joint, and sings a hymn to comfort herself. A hymn about community. A hymn that’s likely from exactly the German Catholic territory that Klute is taking her (back) to. Klute is kind of God, right? What’s important is that she’s alone, and the song states that she’s part of a community.
Frankly, I’m a sucker for songs dropped into films for contrast. Think of Ellen Ripley singing You Are My Lucky Star in the moment of most horror in Alien. Think of HAL singing A Bicycle Built for Two as he “dies” in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Think of Mary Richards and all of her friends singing It’s a Long Way to Tipperary as they leave behind their beloved newsroom. In each case the song is inappropriate. It doesn’t seek to build tension, not obviously, but it creates pathos by demonstrating self-comforting. That’s why I like the song in Klute.
An aside: When I volunteered at the hospice, the aunt of a dying young man sat at his bedside. She told me that as a child his favorite song had been Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and she insisted we sing it continuously as he died. We sang that song for two days, at times taking turns, sometimes together. It was as if we were praying. Even now I hear that song and want to bawl.
Also, did you clock the chrysanthemums as an object? She buys them fresh, but the next day they’re trashed.
But my second choice was…
The final scene where Bree is leaving, yet the voiceover/therapist dialog says she doesn’t want to go. And that makes the winner:
Cassandra also noted this moment, but did so after Kimberly. Please contact Dennis with your snail mail address, Kimberly.
And if you people want to hear the best scream in movies, check out the lovely scene at the end of Heavenly Creatures.
If you dare, click here. You’ll never be the same after you see it.