Cinema Odeon > 18:00



Friday 28/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

A series of images that at first seem incompatible within a single lifetime appear over Jane Fonda’s face and body: the arrival of Henry Fonda’s daughter’s pretty face on American screens at the end of the 1950s gives way to the sexbomb from Barbarella, quickly replaced by the left-wing activist who, taking scissors to her hair and bra, reveals a political firebrand and a feminist activist to the world at large. Just a few years later, in her 40s, she devotes herself to a new cult: that of fitness. The image of Fonda in her leotard then conclusively replaces that of ‘Hanoi Jane’ smiling on a Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun and of the double Oscar-winning actress in the collective subconscious. Her lengthy absence from the screen (1990-2005) establishes for posterity the image of an active and dynamic woman who turned the fight against aging into an aerobic routine. Her return to the big and small screen since 2005 changes things a little: at 70, then 80, Jane Fonda fully embraces her role as a mature woman along with all her wrinkles. We could leave things at that, surprised by these successive metamorphoses, and see only the superficial contradictions. This would undoubtedly mean missing out on a coherence and integrity that permeates both Fonda’s life and her career. Above all, it would mean failing to consider the way in which she has resonated with her own country, its history, its ambitions and its ambiguities. For this is the most fascinating thing about Fonda: the way in which she embodies America, to embrace or otherwise to reject its mythology, to grasp its different aspects, to be one of its most emblematic icons and to reveal its many strengths as well as its weaknesses. For Fonda, life is a quest for balance between personal struggles and collective ones, between self-assertion and progress for all, between pragmatism and idealism. A typically American phenomenon.

Cast and Credits

Prod.: Agat Films et Cie, Arte France. DCP.


Film Notes

Her long fringe, her British accent, and her relationship with Serge Gainsbourg in the 1970s have left their mark on the imagination. As an actress and mother, muse and activist, singer and sex symbol, Jane Birkin’s panache has spanned the decades of the past 50 years, raising her to the rank of icon. A child of the baby boom, Birkin took after her mother, the English actress Judy Campbell, in her passion for performance. In her 20s she played a series of minor roles in the Swinging London of the 1960s, but it was later, in Paris, newly divorced from an unfaithful John Barry, that she became successful. In 1968 young Birkin sealed her fate when she met Serge Gainsbourg on the set of Slogan. Together, they were the embodiment of a mythical couple. She inspired his greatest songs, and he showed her that her boyish figure, for which she had been teased in her youth, could be a model of femininity. But when Gainsbourg gave way to Gainsbarre, his destructive alter-ego, Birkin emancipated both herself and her baby-doll persona. In the 1980s she moved from popular to auteur cinema. Directed by Varda, Tavernier and Doillon, she exudes melancholy sensitivity. On the stage, in song, on either side of the camera, or in the streets, ‘Jane’ has joined many battles (for civil rights, ecology, the fight against Aids…) as a tireless explorer of freedom. Made entirely from archive material, this documentary shows how Birkin, at first inseparable from Gainsbourg, never stopped reinventing herself and multiplying her roles. Moving from scenes of daily life to recording sessions, from film excerpts to interviews – where the actress and singer reveals her mischievousness – director Clelia Cohen sheds light on the many faces of the timeless Jane B: fragile child, Lolita to a Pygmalion, bohemian mother, accomplished actress, competent singer or militant activist. An exhilarating portrait of the woman who seized, with her gap-toothed smile, the status of an icon with candour and audacity, shyness and shamelessness.       

Cast and Credits

M.: Josephine Petit. Mus.: Matteo Locasciulli, Victor Galey. Prod.: Agat Films & Cie, ARTE France, Cine+. DCP.