Posts Tagged ‘Jane Fonda’

Jane Fonda

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Marmar: Jane Fonda Interview With Barbara Walters in 2006

At risk of sounding exactly as I wrote with what I put on my Google+, Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook accounts, (do I have enough social network accounts?) I love the realness of Jane Fonda. There’s nothing phony about her, at least in real-life. Keep in mind she’s an actress and a damn good one and as I said in my last piece about her, the best actress of the Silent Generation not including Liz Taylor. So she can play real as well as it can be done, at least onstage. And since I’m not the purely cynical asshole that I tend to get seen as, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt here. And say she’s truly a real person in real-life. What you see for good and I believe at least the majority is good and for bad and I have my own political and judgment issues with her, what you see is what you get.

Despite Jane’s Far-Left collectivist politics there’s a real individualistic side to Jane Fonda. That says people should be who they are and then own that. Instead of feeling the need to fit in and be other people. Which is exactly how I look at life as a Liberal. Personal freedom can never be real if individuals are not only free to be themselves, but then accept that and take advantage of that. But to paraphrase Jane, then you have to own who you are. ‘This is who I am as a person for good and bad. This is where I do well and perhaps could do better. This is where I come up short and need to work on to be a complete person.’ Not that you try to be perfect, but that you’re as good of a person that you can be. Because you know who you are and where you’re strong. While you’re improving at your flaws.

Without Jane Fonda’s activism against the Vietnam War and how big she was with the anti-war movement and the broader New-Left, I don’t there’s a whole lot to criticize her about. I don’t think there would be much that is controversial about her. The Christian-Right would still get on her about sexual movies in the 1960s like Barbarella, but that was in the 1960s at the heart of the Counter Culture and Cultural Revolution. And today if anything she’s still very popular, because she did movies like that and others like The Chapman Report. That looks at sex between married couples as well as adultery. Which was still very controversial in 1962. Jane Fonda, is someone who you really have to look at the whole picture before you make up her mind about her. Because she’s truly a complete and real person who can’t be looked at as good, or bad, or in black and white. Because like life in general she’s complicated.


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Jane Fonda

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Marmar: Jane Fonda interview With Barbara Walters in 1978

Jane Fonda, I believe giving Barbara Walters an interesting interview in 1978. Whatever you think about her politics she’s very honest and open about them and her life as well. Like losing her mother at the age of 12, her somewhat distant relationship with her father Henry Fonda. Her political activism in and outside of the Democratic Party and I could go on. I believe that is what people like her whether they like her or not they at least respect her realness. And that there really isn’t anything fake about her. And as a result the characters that she plays in her movies come off as so real as well. California Suite, where she plays a somewhat cold and distant mother, is a perfect example of that.

Whatever you think of Jane’s politics I think even her strongest opponents will give her that she’s a great actress. Perhaps would prefer her to stick with acting and leave political activism to people who know more about the issues that she campaigns on. But she’s a great actress and I at least believe if there wasn’t an actress named Elizabeth Taylor, I believe we’re talking about the greatest actress at least of the Silent Generation. And that includes women like Sophia Loren, Angie Dickinson, Kim Novak, Karen Black, to use as examples. When it coms to acting she’s in the same class as Liz Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Susan Hayward and many other great actress’s. And that should never be misunderstood and forgotten about Jane Fonda. Regardless of what you think about her politics.

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Hollywood Starlet/New-Left Activist

Hollywood Starlet/New-Left Activist

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I think there really are two Jane Fonda’s. The great sexy beautiful baby-faced adorable actress, who is arguably the greatest actress of her generation. With perhaps only Liz Taylor being better. And then there’s the New-Left political activist, that emerges on the American political scene in the late 1960s and is there throughout the 1970s. Who U.S. Military veterans see as The Devil. Who the New-Left/Far-Left in America, see as one of their heroes. Perhaps right of there with Karl Marx and many others. And I think its hard to cover both sides of Jane’s career in one post. But she’s made a huge mark in both careers that she’s had, I’m going to give it a shot.

Its not being against the Vietnam War, that made Jane Fonda controversial. I mean, the country up until the early 1970s, was split on that issue. Its still the worst war that America has ever been in. As far as all of the pain, suffering and deaths and how its effected future president’s and Congress’s and how they go to war. Its how Jane was against this war that really sets her apart. And puts in the anti-war movement in America that makes it easy to portray her as anti-American, if not Un-American. When you accuse the President of the United States of being a war criminal and you take a picture with the enemy and you call Americans soldiers murderers, its easy to see how people who love America would hate you.

The positive side of Jane Fonda’s career. Again, perhaps the best actress of her generation, The Silent Generation, Americans born in the late 1920s and 1930s, primarily. I think only Liz Taylor would be better than Jane. And you look at Jane’s movies like Walk on The Wild Side, The Chase, The China Syndrome, some of the best movies ever and she had a great part and was great in all of them, its easy to see why she’s had such a great career. And inheriting Henry Fonda’s genes, doesn’t hurt either. But as a political activist and I’ll go concentrate on the Vietnam War, perhaps some of her other activities, I probably agree with her on, she stands out as a real New-Left, or Far-Left radical, that has pissed off a lot of Americans. Who by in large would probably like and love her a lot otherwise.

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Jack Lemmon
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Jack Lemmon to me at least and I bet a lot of other people who knew him and are familiar with him would say was that he was a professional comedian who didn’t do standup. At least on a regular basis, but his sense of humor, timing and spontaneity when it came to humor and his improvisation was great and gave him comedic abilities. That are about as good as we’ve ever seen in Hollywood. The man deserves to be in Comedy Hall of Fame if there is such a thing. And you see a lot of that in this interview without a script. Merv Griffin giving him questions that aren’t even intended to have humorous responses. And Jack answering the questions seriously, but using humor to make his points.

I covered China Syndrome last night, but they really did a great movie and made a great movie about a subject that by 1978 and early 1979 I’m not sure a lot of Americans were thinking about and were worried about. Which was nuclear power and what could happen when nuclear power plants aren’t managed well enough and where profits are put ahead of safety. Which is about as progressive or socialist even as you’ll ever hear me talk. But this was movie that had to be done and let people know about this issue. And again Three Mile Island happens just a month after this interview was conducted in early 79.

China Syndrome wasn’t saying that nuclear power was bad or that corporations were bad. What they were talking about was the dangers of nuclear when it is not managed properly and the potential consequences that can come when it is not managed properly. And in an area like Los Angeles with roughly fifteen-million people with four-million of the city and eight-millions in LA County that is a lot of people who could potentially be seriously injured with injuries that they’ll never recover from. If not killed if you have a major nuclear power accident. And that is what this movie was talking about.

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China Syndrome
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

If you are familiar with Three Mile Island and then you see The China Syndrome, I think you would leave the movie thinking, “wow that could actually happen”. Because the Three Mile explosion which happened at a nuclear power plant outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in March of 1979 happened about two months after The China Syndrome came out in January or February of 1979. China Syndrome is not about a nuclear power plant explosion, but about what could potentially happen at a plant like that if it is not run properly, lets say.

There is a bad vibration at a nuclear power plant in Southern California just outside of Los Angeles and the plant knows about it and decides to if not cover it up, play it down so they don’t get any bad publicity or have to deal with regulators about it. A news anchor and cameraman at a local TV knows something is going on and believes the power plant is not giving the whole story. But their boss’s don’t want to go any further in the story and risk a big lawsuit. Kimberly Wells played by Jane Fonda and Richard Adams played by Michael Douglas decided to look into the story anyway. And that is how this story gets going.

Jack Godell played by Jack Lemmon is a shift supervisor at the power plant and knows something seriously went wrong at the power plant. And he also knows his company is not giving the whole story, but is reluctant at first to say what he knows and believes to the media. Jane Wells finds Jack at the bar and they get to know each other and she gets to open up a little bit about what he knows about what happened at the power plant.

So this is what this movie is about where a nuclear power plant had it been any worst would’ve caused serious destruction of Southern California, at least like getting hit by a nuclear missile. A company knowing that if this story breaks, they would not only lose millions and probably a let more, but get sanctioned by the U.S. Government and other authorities. Two somewhat inexperienced media people looking for a big break and a big story all coming together in one story.

Jane Wells is at best a soft news personal story reporter who covers personalities and the goings ons at supermarkets and amusement parks and other things. Who doesn’t want to do that forever and wants to become a hard news reporter and anchor. This is the story that if she gets it and does a good job will get her off of soft news. And she and Jack are the main two characters who break this story and shed light on what really happened at the power plant. And this is a great movie about how deadly nuclear power plant leaks and explosions can be. And very realistic especially if you are familiar with Three Mile Island.

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Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I’m sorry, I wish I could’ve found a better video that would’ve shown all three couples, or groups in this movie that would’ve given you a better idea about what this great romantic comedy is about. But I guess you’re going to have to take my word for it, or see the movie yourself. But this is one my favorite comedies of all-time that I saw again on Friday in preparation to write this blog. This is one of the smartest written and funniest written comedies of all-time, with one of the funniest casts that you could put in a movie. People who should all be in the Comedy Hall of Fame, when you’re talking about Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Walter Matthau, Alan Alda, Michael Caine and Jane Fonda.

California Suite is about four out-of-town couples coming to Los Angeles. There, should I go on, is there really anything else you need to know about this movie, I mean isn’t that enough, can I retire now? Fine, I’ll go on, but it is about three out-of-town couples coming to Los Angeles for sort of a little vacation. You have an African-American foursome coming to LA from Chicago. A Jewish-American couple from Philadelphia to attend a, well Bar Mitzvah, what else. A then there’s a divorced couple. The women coming from New York and the man coming from the San Francisco area. And they are meeting in Los Angeles for some reason and they are meeting to talk about their daughter’s future. Apparently little Sally doesn’t like living with Mom and wants to live with Dad instead.

The divorced couple played by Alan Alda and Jane Fonda is interesting to me for several reasons and I’ll give you a few of them. One, the humor in the movie matches Al and Jane, lets call them very well. It is as if the humor in this movie was written for them as far as all the sarcasm and quick-witted jabs and one-liners they deliver in the movie. Alda and Fonda have a very similar sense of humor in real-life, if not the exact same humor and they are both great comedic actors. It’s as if Alda is doing this movie on M*A*S*H as far as the humor between him and Jane. Jane Fonda has a great line in this movie where she tells Bill her ex-husband, “Billy you’re not a hopeless romantic. You’re even worst, you’re a hopeful one”. Sounds like a line she could’ve come up with on her own.

Then there’s the Chicago couple where Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor, well their characters that is take their wives out to Los Angeles from Chicago on vacation. They are both doctors and best friends and yet they try to kill each other in this movie. If you are familiar with the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles, you’ll love this part of California Suite as well. But this time the two men don’t just know each other, but they are best friends and have their wives with them. It is was one disaster after another for them in LA. Starting first in a rental car coming from the airport to their Beverly Hills hotel. The car overheats and they have to pull over and they all get out, but lock the keys in the car. And it just gets worst for them after that.

Then the couple from Philadelphia played by Walter Matthau and Elaine May. For some reason they fly to Los Angeles separately and the Matthau character meets up with his brother who he hasn’t seen in like forever. His brother played by Herb Edelman, I guess is single and perhaps coming off his fifth divorce and is a playboy. And gets his brother drunk at dinner and sets him up with a hooker to be there for his brother when he gets back to his hotel room. They get drunk together again and do God knows what. The next morning he can’t wake his hooker up and wife is on the way and you can imagine the type of problems he’s now dealing with. And it is really Walter Matthau at his funniest.

This is not a movie for people who only like cookie-cutter humor and need to of heard a joke like ten times from late night TV or their favorite comedians or sitcoms, or whatever before they can understand the one-liner and smart ass cracks in the movie. And the humor in this movie also moves very fast with one great one-liner after another. So you not only need to pay attention to what you’re hearing, but do it quickly, because another quick joke is on the way. Played with I’m sure a lot of comedic improv in it as well, especially in a comedy that has Walter Matthau, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor in it. And I believe is one of the best comedies of all-time.
Sony Pictures: California Suite 1978 Trailer

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The Newsroom
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Keep in mind, I’m not a regular viewer of The Newsroom. Actually, all I’ve seen from this show, is what I’ve seen from YouTube. (Thank God for YouTube) But what I took from this video, is pre-hard news, The Newsroom was basically a soft news, tabloid news show similar to Hard Copy and unfortunately a lot of what CNN is doing now. “This is what is hot in technology. This is who this celebrity is seeing now and thinks about this. This is what this celebrity is now in jail for and wore to that awards show”.

The Piers Morgan show is now off the air (maybe there is a God after all) and that is what it was about until Piers decided he was going to compete with MSNBC and all ten of their viewers and compete for viewers on the Far-Left in America and use their rhetoric and speak for their issues and policies. But that show didn’t do well under the soft-talk format or the so-called hard-talk and hardball politics format. The show died like someone being dropped from a plane a thousand feet in the air with a parachute that doesn’t open and work.

And what was going in with The Newsroom was nothing serious really. All that happened was the driver of the show so to speak the anchor was falling asleep at the wheel talking about technology and tabloid news all the time. And they got a real producer with a real news background played by Sam Waterston, Charlie What’s His Name, (I don’t think that’s his real last name) and they changed the format and the Will McAvoy character played by Jeff Daniels became a real news anchor of a real news show. And the rest is history.

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