Jane Fonda: Coming of Age
Our two-month season spotlight’s Fonda’s finest screen moments, from camp space adventures to tense thrillers and moving drama.
“Listen, to be 80-years-old and on a steady job — that’s something”
Jane Fonda has led a remarkable life. She has fully exercised not just her body but every facet of her complex personality across a 60-year career. Actor, activist, fitness guru and writer – to track Fonda’s life is to take an off-road trip through American history. In the era of Lyndon B Johnson she embodied the sexy, insouciance of the 60s. As Nixon turned a darker corner, Fonda controversially dedicated her on and off-screen time to anti-war and civil rights protests. The Washington Post dubbed her ‘a beautiful bundle of contradictions.’ And now, in the age of Trump, she’s back with a vengeance delivering blistering speeches on behalf of Black Lives Matter and selling age-appropriate sex toys to elder women in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie. See how it all began in part one of our two-month season.
“I don’t owe anybody anything, I did it myself”
Brenda Morel (Fonda) in Youth
This month’s programme shows how deeply Fonda’s work aligned with her personal values. Jane Fonda established IPC Films (named after the Indochina Peace Campaign) in the 1970s to tell stories dear to her heart. Three IPC productions feature in this concluding part of our season. Coming Home reveals Fonda working to drive home the anti-Vietnam War message; the tender storytelling shows that her resistance came from a deep love of America. The China Syndrome is a chilling glimpse into man-made environmental disasters, a threat that continues to agitate Fonda today. But it is perhaps On Golden Pond that was closest to her heart – she hoped it would heal the relationship with her father Henry Fonda. Committed, passionate and funny, the octogenarian Fonda recently wrote on her blog, ‘I’m not old. I’m perennial.’ Yes indeed. These films prove that.
Film copy by Anna Bogutskaya and Justin Johnson