I was too tired to write a blog last night so the photos I took yesterday are here. I wanted to show how we shoot car scenes…with the car mounted on a flat bed , the cameras attached in front and the whole is being pulled by another truck. This isn’t the only way to shoot car scenes but a common way, and, in our case, essential because Guy Bedos doesn’t drive. I would take Tulea into the car with me between takes cause she knew I was inside and whimpered when we went past.

Today was the first day all of us shot together. Geraldine has been finishing a film in Spain so this was her first day on our film and it was a delight to work with her and look across the hospital bed at her awakened face, positively shining with spirit. She is an imaginative actor. I was impressed. In the scene, our friend, Claude (Claude Rich), had a mild heart attack and has been taken to a retirement home by his son and we, his pals, come to visit and decide, because we are not happy with what we experience in the home, to help him escape.

It was a long day in a very small, hot room and I am beat. But the scene went well and is full of camaraderie and humor.

It is a beautiful building, pistachio green, like buildings in St Petersburg and it offers rooms for people on welfare. There are 102 people—men and women—living there (mostly women, because women live longer than men in general by 5 1/2 years). The oldest is 108!!! There are also people in their fifties, people with Alzheimer’s. It is very sad to walk through the lounge area. I’m told that tomorrow we will work with a woman who is 102. Maybe I can interview here for my book.

Claude's character is an amateur but fine photographer who likes especially to photograph the prostitutes he frequents. We've put his photos up on the wall.

Waiting to shoot. The room was really hot!

This is the lovely retirement home where Claude has been taken by his son.

I am sad anyway because my dear, sweet friend, Stephen Rivers, died last night of cancer. Stephen was my PR person for a long time —as well as my friend–and traveled all over with me, including to Russia, where I was trying to persuade the government to allow the famous and brave refusnik, Ida Nudel, to go to Israel. He was the one who arranged my meeting with 40 Vietnam veterans in the basement of a church in Waterbury, Conn. We went through a lot together. Life is terminal, but for some it happens too soon.

See you next time.

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  1. I, too, lost Stephen Rivers, he was my cousin. His mother and my father were siblings. We would drive from Florida to Massachusetts and go on vacation. He was 8 months older than I. I have many fond memories of him in Springfield and then in California where we visited on occassion. He lived with your family Jane but I remember him as the boy with the blonde hair who was enamored with politics, who wanted to be involved. From Cesar Chavez to Jane and Tom, to CAA and Cuba…he always saw what others didn’t and worked to make things happen…Bless you Jane for being his friend. God bless his mother and sisters in this time of deep sorrow.

  2. Jane,sorry to learn of your friend Stephen Rivers’ death.May he R.I.P


  3. Hi Jane,

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Along with Dennis Hopper and Rue McClanahan it’s been a sad week.

    Yes, you’re right, life is terminal. We really have to live life to the fullest and best we can and try to cherish our loved ones and hope that they are safe somewhere when they’re no longer around.

    Thanks for all the photos. I think Geraldine Chaplin has such a wonderful face in real life (on film too!). I stood next to her at a buffet once and I could see all those genes passed down from her father. I mean, I don’t know how to say it but her face looks like it’s full of history, somehow. Hard to describe.

    Take care and thanks sooo much.

  4. Hi Jane,

    …love what you’re doing…love all of your pics!!
    I am very sorry for the loss of your friend and wish to extend my deepest condolences to you.

    Ottawa, Canada

  5. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend Jane. I feel your pain, just losing my brother at 60. Too early! Enjoying the background of the film. I was in an Indie film once but it never made it to the screen as the Director had some kind of breakdown and didn’t finish it….such a shame…was my big break!
    Love you, Victoria

  6. I enjoyed this today…the pictures, and the descriptions of you being filmed in the car, and filming in the retirement home. I don’t think anything is as exhausting as working in a hot room…no matter what the work involves. Hope you have a good rest tonight. I was sorry to hear of your friend’s death. The finality of death of anyone we care about is never easy to accept. Life is so fleeting. I read something that goes like this…”we are all spiritual beings who take human form for a short time and live on earth and then we are gone.” I thought that was interesting. It reminds me to try to make every day count!

  7. Stephen. A wonderful friend to all of us. He will be greatly missed. Over the years I have known him he spoke so warmly of you. You were a generous friend and he valued your relationship. It’s hard to believe he’s gone. Earlier today, I was thinking of something in politics and thought I should email Stephen and get his thoughts. And then I remembered. Very sad.

    All best,


  8. No one understands the separation anxiety of a Coton like another human of a Coton!

  9. So sorry for your loss! So hard to lose your friends, but he’s not suffering!

  10. Jane, I’m enjoying your posts about the film you’re working on. It’s a delight to see. Thank you for taking your time to do this.

  11. What a great cast with Pierre Richard, Claude Rich, Guy Bedos, Daniel Bruhl, Geraldine Chaplin and Jane Fonda! That’s a deep bench. Great to see photos of the car scene being shot. Seems Tulea isn’t one to be left behind & knows being with you is exactly where she needs to be.

    • deep bench!! that’s good. I like your use of the baseball analogy!!

  12. Hello Jane,
    Life is terminal,seems that way at times. I once met a man 108 years old ,back in th e early 70’s was a real interesting conversation, the experiences he had . In France the social system is somewhat better than what I have seen, in the States. Even people with years of work experiene and degrees, get sick an loss everything.Sounds like a worth a view film. My own experiences ring true,my Mother worked in a Hospital, and the bills just added , up and she saw no way out . My Father was ver ill , and she id not want to be alone when he was gone. She worked herself to death.

  13. So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. My prayers are with you.

    Jen in TX

  14. Thank you for sharing your comments and photos of
    movie making. If there is such a thing as a blog award, yours should win top honors.

  15. ‘Shooting Days’ show the intense focus and energy needed in film art. You have given us so much insight into this and your life ‘on stage’ and off. Merci! Am feeling so sorry for your losing a trusted friend who also valued your friendship. We are so lucky when our lives include such wonders who make up for ‘all those others’.

  16. Jane-
    This film sounds like it’s going to be really special. Sorry to hear about your friend. As I’m sure you know, he is still with you and always will be. Friendship and Love, truly are the most amazing things in life!!!

    OXOX Bill

  17. I, too, am sorry to read about your loss. I hope you’re comforted by the people and doggy who are near you these days.

    My dear friend will be 90 on August 2nd and she is as sharp and witty now as any of my young friends. She’s from the Wild West, and if you’re interested in getting her insightful perspectives for your book then I can put you in touch with her.

    I applaud you and appreciate all that you do. I can’t wait for your workouts to come out on DVD. I’ve lost the menopause weight, but now need to get in the best shape possible. For now I’ll walk my four dogs. I look forward to doing workouts in my huge living room, once your DVDs are available.

    Thank you.

  18. smart Tulea! she ‘s on every event! saw this false driving on movie shot round the arc-de- triomphe, fine pics,sad things friends passing away, a reality we ‘re compell to deal with! georgous retreat house on the movie, by the way clicking to post, it turned to be doubleprinted, not precocious alzeimer, and i ‘ ll be on the obligation to escape this wonderful green house, on Claude Rich ‘s footsteps! maybe, one ‘ll be deleted, the other post will stay,’it’was on the christian Vadim theather theme, this doppelprint, nice evening!

  19. Thank you for sharing the pictures, and explaining about the filming process. What a treat to see the pictures of Geraldine Chaplin, who looks as lovely as ever.

    My condolences on the loss of your friend. I recall Elizabeth Kubler Ross once saying that when we tell those who’ve passed that we love them, they dance in heaven.

  20. Hey Jane,

    …just waiting to hear from you Jane. I understand you’re a very busy lady. All my best to you and Tulea in Paris. May God Bless You Always.

    Ottawa, Canada

  21. Hi Jane,

    Hope you’re well and hope you’re not working too hard.

    Thinking of you,
    Ottawa, Canada

  22. Jane, désolée pour la perte de votre ami Stephen Rivers et je pense bien à vous dans ce moment difficile.

  23. So sorry to learn of your loss. Life is over in a minute, but you are making the most of it. I’ve been a fan forever and am so excited to hear that you are back making films. It’s been too long.

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