Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Christian

Jane Fonda

Recommended Posts

I wanted to launch this thread


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, she did. Here's one article on it:

JANE FONDA BECOMES A BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN

Robert Stacy McCain

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

-----------------------------------------------------------

    Jane Fonda has become a born-again Christian, enthusiastic in her newly found faith, and her conversion is making waves from Atlanta to Hollywood.

    She's regularly attending church services and Bible studies in Atlanta, and>one friend calls her faith "very real, very deep."

    One of her longtime critics calls it a conversion "right up there with Saul of Tarsus." The story leaped from Internet gossip to mainstream newspapers following the disclosure last week that she and her husband, Ted Turner, have separated.

    Miss Fonda has so far declined to talk to reporters about it, and her spokesman, Steven Bennett, Thursday told The Times: "We do not comment on her personal life."

    She had said in an interview two years ago, on the eve of her 60th

birthday, that she had asked herself, "Where do I want to go with the last third of

my life?"

    Friends say Mr. Turner's unhappiness with his wife's enthusiasm for her new faith in Christ contributed to the split-up. The couple said they hope to work out a reconciliation.

    Her friends in Atlanta and Hollywood are rallying around her.

    "I am extremely impressed with the genuineness and sincerity in [her] search for spirituality and wholeness," the Rev. Gerald Durley, pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta where Miss Fonda has attended services, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I think she's>found a certain sense of peace among people who've found peace with Christianity."

    Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission in Los

Angeles, who worries that news of Miss Fonda's conversion will put the>actress-activist under pressure as a "celebrity Christian," urges Christians to pray for her.

    "We should be kind and gracious and thoughtful and respectful," says Mr. Baehr, who said he had been aware of Miss Fonda's journey toward faith for>more than a year.

    Joseph Farah, whose Internet site WorldNetDaily.com first reported Miss

Fonda's conversion, said he had heard "rumblings" about her search for faith

for two years.  "Then, last summer, I started hearing again from people who were close to

Jane, that this was real, that she was really attending church and Bible study and had made a sincere commitment to Christianity. It resurfaced recently with the separation between Ted and Jane. I heard from one of my sources that the real reason was spiritual," he said.

    Mr. Turner, who turned a bankrupt Atlanta advertising company into a media empire that grew even larger this week with the merger of Time-Warner and America Online, has been an outspoken critic of Christianity, calling it a "religion for losers."

    At a meeting of population control groups last year, Mr. Turner ridiculed the Ten Commandments and told a Polish joke about Pope John Paul II, who was born in Poland. But later he appeared chastened and told the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Ga., an Atlanta suburb: "From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for the things I said about Christians."

    Mr. Turner has told friends that he had accepted Christ as a young man at a Billy Graham crusade, but lost his faith after the death of his sister.

    Among those involved in Miss Fonda's path to Christ are several Christian>friends in Atlanta. These are said to include Ginny Millner, wife of Georgia Republican leader Guy Millner, and Nancy McGuirk, whose husband is an executive in Turner Broadcasting Co.

    The key figure in Miss Fonda's search, however, may have been her>chauffeur, who shared his faith with her, Mr. Baehr said. When her husband became upset when she began attending Atlanta's fashionable Peachtree Presbyterian>Church, Miss Fonda "asked her chauffeur where should she go." The chauffeur invited her to attend his church, the predominantly black Providence Missionary Baptist Church.

    She accepted the invitation, and became a regular parishioner there, though she apparently has not joined the church. Miss Fonda, who founded the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, helped Providence Church establish its Fathers Resource Center, which educates young men about the emotional and social responsibilities of fatherhood.

    She has not publicly talked about her political views, or whether she has changed any of them, but she is said to have declined to participate in a meditation ceremony at an environmental conference not long ago with an admonition that "it would be better to pray to Jesus Christ."

    A member of Providence Church, who has worked closely with Miss Fonda, said

telephone calls from reporters have flooded the church since the news broke of Miss Fonda's attendance at Providence Missionary. "It's been a zoo here.. . . It's been absolutely incredible," she said. That kind of media frenzy worries Robert H. Knight, senior director of cultural studies at the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy organization.

    "I would hope, if her conversion is genuine, that Miss Fonda will not come under undue pressure before she is able to handle it," he says. "She probably needs time to grow in the faith and experience the joys of knowing Christ, before undergoing trials on His behalf."

    Spiritual growth may be difficult for Miss Fonda because of her Hollywood background. The Academy Award-winning actress, who was called "Hanoi Jane" after her 1971 trip to North Vietnam, where she was photographed posing on an anti-aircraft battery, "has been in a cultural universe that is utterly hostile to Christianity," Mr. Knight says.

    Speculation has grown in Atlanta that Mr. Turner might soon follow his wife in a search for his own discarded faith. "Nobody is beyond the grace of God," says Mr. Baehr. "That's why Jesus died>for the sinners, not for the righteous. . . . Nobody is beyond God's grace>whom God decides to call into His kingdom."


[iNSERT SIGNATURE HERE]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Barbarella is awesome.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Barbarella is awesome.

And yet it didn't make our Top 100!


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have to remedy that. Just imagine how great it would look on the press release.

...Christian critics and cinephiles add Stromboli, The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes and Barbarella to the Top 100 Most Spiritually Significant Films...


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear that Fonda has apologized for her infamous trip to North Vietnam that occured during the Vietnam War. I'm surprised it has taken her this long to do so. Must've been pretty damaging to our troops morale back then, I'd think.


-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming Home is a pretty great film, Andrew, and given your line of work, I'd be curious to hear what you think of it. The opening scenes at the veterans hospital are especially good. Jon Voigt spent a lot of time with wounded Vietnam vets before and during the shoot, and the director decided to use many of them in the film. There's a scene where they're all sitting around talking that is essentially documentary footage. Apparently Voigt had lines of scripted dialogue but chose to remain silent, giving the others more room to talk. It's a great scene. And Bruce Dern has a moment near the end of the film that just kills me.

Coming Home was directed by Hal Ashby. If I can ever get my dissertation finished, my next big project, I've already decided, is going to be a critical biography of Ashby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the recommendation, Darren - I've added it to my Netflix queue. I'll be glad to let you know what I think about it. I just saw my first Hal Ashby film in the past year or two ('Harold and Maude') and liked it quite a bit, so I'm curious to see another of his films.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

http://secularcinephile.blogspot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a more recent NY Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/05/books/05fond.html):

She has been an award-winning actress, activist, feminist, filmmaker, fitness fanatic, philanthropist and, for the better part of the last decade, a committed if continually questioning Christian.

...

As she has before, Ms. Fonda apologizes for being photographed laughing and clapping while sitting on an antiaircraft gun in Hanoi. (She writes that she absent-mindedly sat down in a moment of euphoria with her North Vietnamese hosts, and adds, "That two-minute lapse of sanity will haunt me until the day I die.")

But in the book, and in the interview, she is unapologetic, even defiant, about her opposition to a war she saw as wrong and un-American, and expresses pain and puzzlement about why an acquaintance from those days, John Kerry, could not seem to defend his own antiwar activities in his presidential campaign last year.

"I just don't know," she says, her voice barely a whisper. "Because then he was just brilliant in his ability to articulate, and brave in his willingness to articulate. And he seemed to be a human being who was in touch with his core person. And I don't know what happened in the interim."

...

She and Mr. Turner split up five years ago, in part, she said, because he was furious that she had become an active Christian, but she makes it clear that he was partly to blame for that, having introduced her to Georgians like Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, "who were practicing Christians, and they were smart people I respected."

Edited by bgeerdes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A little more insight into her conversion, from an interview in this week's Time mag.

"Another reason Fonda has stayed in the South is that it was the first place she met what she calls, "smart, hip Christians." Raised an atheist, she never gave much thought to religion until she had a breakdown following the end of her second marriage, in 1990. "One day I was all by myself, and I said out loud, 'If God wants me to suffer like this, there must be a reason.' I almost did a double take. God?" In the mid-90s, Fonda started feeling "an opening to the presence of the Almighty." She did not tell Turner (who once famously remarked, "Christianity is a religion for losers") because she feared he would have talked her out of it. "And he could have," she says. "I'm still not ready to defend it or analyze it or anything, but I have become moved by it, fascinated by it and helped by it - and I'm not even sure what it is."


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Mark. Yeah, she said almost those exact same words recently in answer to Terri Gross on Fresh Air. Interesting that she doesn't feel the need to defend her faith.

A recent Salon.com article mentions Fonda's faith in just one sentence: "During her marriage to Ted Turner, Fonda becomes interested in Christianity, but is concerned about her place in its patriarchal structure."

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just came across this very interesting interview with Jane Fonda (in German):

http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/...,352237,00.html

Translated (by me) excerpt:

SPIEGEL ONLINE:

How do physical fitness and zest for action mix with the role of a decorative star at the side of a media billionaire [Ted Turner]?

Fonda: Ted Turner's wife -- a role which is most assuredly not among my most glorious ones. My main task was growing flowers, fishing and riding horses. I have not been a very happy person during the last ten years. Even worse: I was on my way of becoming a bitter old woman. Often I have been quite moody and fell out of favour with a lot of people. Fortunately I let go anchor at the right moment.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So where did it land [the anchor]?

Fonda: Well, I have been pretty disillusioned until one day I re-discovered my faith in God. God ultimately helped me to find a way out of the darkness.

It goes on, interesting read.

Edited by Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
re-discovered?

Yes, thats what she said. The German original is "neu entdecken" which translates "to discover anew" and in this context is probably better translated "rediscover" because she said "MY faith" a few words before -- which implies she had believed before, at some point in life.

Edited by Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what's more disturbing: some of Fonda's answers, or the way Liz Smith leads with her questions. I have no illusions that Smith is an objective journalist, but the chummy "we're the same" tone is just so grating.

That's why my favorite part of the interview is the one point where Smith and Fonda parted ways:

Liz: Did you see the president's press conference before that; I thought he was floundering.

Jane: No, I thought he was very impressive. I don't know him, but I have always thought if I were alone in a room with him, I would really like him.

Liz: Well, many people do like him, and he has an informal appealing quality, they say. Jane, let's get back on you. ...

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great link, Christian. I always thought Liz Smith was a sycophant. That exchange about Bush is hilarious, and I give Fonda credit for not going the predictable Bush-bashing route.

I hate to second-guess anyone's faith convictions, but after reading this and seeing Fonda on Tim Russert's MSNBC program a few weeks ago, it sounds like she's coming at Christianity solely from a social justice perspective. Not that there's anything wrong with social justice. But when Russert asked her pointedly whether she believes in Heaven, Fonda fudged a little and quoted some lines her father read in Grapes of Wrath about the essence of the soul living on in nature. (Tried finding the transcript online but couldn't.) Shed a little perspective on where she's at.


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it took me a while, but I finally saw 'Coming Home' yesterday. I'm still thinking through what it means to me and what I make of it, to be honest.

A few initial reactions:

- Boy, do I feel the cultural remove - even though I work with Vietnam veterans every day, I found it hard to relate to the lives and thoughts of these characters

- I suspect Hal Ashby did his homework here - the VA setting of the 1970's looks pretty plausible to me (it sure has come a long way in 30 years!).

- The veteran experience has a number of details that make it convincing - Bruce Dern's uncommunicative manner with his wife, knowing that there's no way she could understand what he's seen and been through (this hasn't changed, by the way); the detail about Dern's fellow marine and his ear collection; the anger and disaffection of the returned vets in general -- all of this seems quite plausible

- where I struggled with this film is that it seemed to deal in archetypes, rather than true human beings, which seems to diminish the potency of the tale: Voight as the vet turned protester, Dern as the marine psycho, Fonda as the convert from uptight military wife to liberated woman (complete with her first orgasm). The choice of Fonda as lead actress, after her universally known Hanoi escapades, only seems to make Ashby's propagandistic aims all the more blatant. Nonetheless, despite Dern's over-the-top psycho characterization (complete with bayonet), that final scene of him is haunting.

- the extent to which the soundtrack was used to tell the story seemed ultimately overbearing and distracting to me

Despite all of this, the story was quite affecting to me - I actually contemplated turning it off in the first 15-20 minutes, simply because it stirred up so much anger in me, over the destiny and ultimate societal mistreatment of the Vietnam vets.

Darren (and anyone else) - I'd be quite eager to hear your thoughts on this film.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

http://secularcinephile.blogspot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...