Friday, February 6, 2009

Pre-Consciousness Pinup

I'm always struck, when looking at her earliest work, that Jane Fonda ever emerged as an activist/feminist/entrepreneur and, most recently, nascent grande dame.

For at least the first five or six years of her career, she gave every sign of being a sleepwalker, as vapid and absent as any fifties starlet more interested in who was taking her to El Morocco that night than in fleeing convincingly from a man in a zipper suit.

She was lovely, all right, but weirdly blank. It's a quality that persisted as late as 1968 (and one of the things that prevented Barbarella from achieving true immortality - if she'd been half as knowing as her costumes, it would have gone entirely over the top - as it is, one never knows just how much she is or is not in on the joke), but that vanished, more or less forever, by 1969 and Klute.

While perhaps at times she's gone too far in other ways, she's never once again seemed to be, as above, a pretty, slighty stunned, vacancy. And that can only be a good thing.

4 comments:

  1. We were looking forward to seeing her in 33 Variations, but then Kathleen hit the "purchase now" button a bit rashly and we became the proud owners of a $500 evening at Speed-the-Plow (which, this time round, is truly fantastic — great dark comedy, and fast as that summer lighting that's as fast as Arabian speech). Retrenchment seemed in order — so we'll wait for the review to see how Jane does with the Diabellis.

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  2. she said she was "born again", and then said "cunt" on the today show in reference to "the vagina monologues" what gives??? i'm so confused...

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  3. Viva Pinup!

    I was always more of a Cat Ballou/Any Wednesday kind of guy than a Julia/Coming Home kind of guy.

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