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Who's "cool" anymore?


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David Strathairn? Sure. He always seemed to me to have that look on his face that said, "I know something none of you others do." Sort of like the way a young Hume Cronyn or Jose Ferrer did. Always liked Dave.

 

Dargo, add Eliot Gould to that "worst interview" list. We had a local talk show back in the mid '80's and the host said the same "pulling teeth" thing about HIM.

 

Sepiatone

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But isn't it more interesting when people not only name the person they think is cool, they say why they're cool? I don't think this is something that's just automatically understood, because there are so many different, maybe very personal ideas, about what constitutes "cool".

 

That said, I'd have to pretty much agree with most of the guys named here. Clint Eastwood, for instance: a really good example of what I said about being cool. He doesn't talk much, he's capable of violence but only uses it when he has to, or when he's defending someone vulnerable, he appears supremely confidant, and also indifferent to what others think of him.

 

I'm talking about his screen persona, not the man himself. And of course, sometimes his characters vary from the above description of him.

 

You know, something else I've noticed whenever people are discussing who is cool: nobody ever ever names a woman ! Is there something about "cool" that is inherently male?

 

It's certainly harder to think of cool females for some reason. One who comes to mind for me is Ida Lupino.

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>But isn't it more interesting when people not only name the person they think is cool, they say why they're cool? I don't think this is something that's just automatically understood, because there are so many different, maybe very personal ideas, about what constitutes "cool".

 

That's a very good point.

 

What is "cool"?

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It's certainly harder to think of cool females for some reason. One who comes to mind for me is Ida Lupino.

 

Most definitely Ida Lupino, but I'd add Barbara Stanwyck and Lauren Bacall to the list. The Bacall characters in those Bogey flicks were all far cooler than he was, and whenever the script didn't demand otherwise, Stanwyck was right up there with her.

 

 

For men, the usual suspects: Mitchum, Mifune, Gabin, Bogart, Kirk Douglas, Montand, Belmondo, McQueen, Newman, Brando, Juano Hernandez, Dean, and (in his later roles) Dick Powell. Obviously that's just the tip of the iceberg, and I didn't even bother with actors who debuted after 1970.

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I absolutely agree with you, Andy, and in fact had thought of those same two actresses (Barbara Stanwyck and Lauren Bacall) in addition to Ida Lupino. I don't really know why I didn't list them, too.

 

Interesting...all three of these ladies are known for appearing in a lot of film noir. Personally, I think there's something about noir that shouts - no, better make that whispers - "cool".

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"Cool" to me is someone who seems to be very aware of the situation around them, and they don't say very much. Occasionally they might grin a little so we know they understand what's going on.

 

An un-cool person seems somewhat confused and tends to talk more than a cool person.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}...

>

> An un-cool person seems somewhat confused and tends to talk more than a cool person.

>

Right, Fred. ( By the way, if you're interested in seeing my idea/definition of "cool", click my name on that post I wrote about how cool seems to be mostly associated with men. It'll take you back to my original thoughts on this subject.)

 

By the way, I'm afraid I can't lay claim to being cool at all. I'm confused half the time and I'm sure I talk too much. ?:|

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>By the way, I'm afraid I can't lay claim to being cool at all. I'm confused half the time and I'm sure I talk too much.

 

LOL, with 17,000 posts on this board, I guess I'm not "cool" either.

 

But I'm an old man now. I've got far more opinions and ideas now than I had when I was a young man. And I'm so danged smart now, it's difficult to believe. :D

 

Oh, I guess that last remark wasn't "cool". :)

 

Fred

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> {quote:title=willbefree25 wrote:

> }{quote}

> ... How about Lucille Ball and Joan Crawford. I didn't especially like the latter, but would she have been cool? I was thinking about this topic - how uncool is that? - and wonder if there's some correlation to a tough upbringing (e.g., the Great Depression) and being cool? Who was tougher than Lupino and Ball and Crawford in real life, given the boys network that the studio system was, and considering what they achieved. At great personal cost, I'm sure, but I don't think any of those three were fragile gardenias.

>

> That, to me, was cool.

I'm not that interested in the real people, what they were like in their private lives; for one thing, we'll never really know, and for another, in real life, nobody can be "cool" the way they are in the movies, certainly not all the time, anyway.

So, regarding Lucille Ball: I like her, I respect her, and she was a very talented comedien. But she was not cool. This doesn't mean she was "uncool" ( which I suppose would have to be the opposite of cool) just that her prevailing screen persona was not particularly one of a cool character. Whether she was "tough" in real life or not doesn't enter into it for me.

 

Joan Crawford? Definitely not. Her screen persona was all about over-the-top emotionalism. She was always flipping out, going nuts, crying, raging, etc. Joan-o-dramas. Maybe, a little cool, in Mildred Pierce.

But someone who played so many roles as a person overcome by emotion so often, whether it be rage or grief, does not fit my idea of "cool" at all. As I said in my "what is cool" list, a cool person does not demonstrate a lot of emotion, and even when they do, they don't "lose it". Joan was always "losing it."

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You raise an interesting point. I thought McQueen was cool in real life as well as on the screen.

 

I am not good at separating what an actor does on screen from what he does in real life. So if you consider Lee Marvin 'cool', I consider him a DB and don't consider him cool. Tom Cruise - jackass in R/L, not cool. Et cetera.

 

That's why I found Lupino cool, since she was able to project hard boiled on the screen and put on pants to direct off screen. Cool.

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>Reallllllly? You ever in one of those social situations with realllllllly annoying people who don't say much and so you're obliged, nay you consider it your duty, to blather on and on and on and on?

 

Yes, quite frequently.

 

Then the next day I usually wish I had kept my mouth shut. :)

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When I mentioned Jean Gabin earlier, I should have mentioned that he's the only actor with a 2-volume, 994 page bio entitled World's Coolest Movie Star , with separate introductions by Michele Morgan and Brigitte Bardot. Top that, Dream Factory!

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And if I had the money to get the necessary rights, I'd make Gabin a SOTM and show all 95 of his movies on TCM. Jean Gabin was to cool what Michael Jordan was to last second game winning jump shots, and it's a shame that other than that one glorious day last August, we almost never get exposed to more than a tiny handful of his films over here. If only people knew just how much they were missing.

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Now that the Hollywood hype machine isn't quite what it used to be,

it's a little more difficult to pump out "cool" folks like it once did. And

since "cool" is rarely timeless, "cool" types usually morph into the

tiresome after a number of years.

 

Celine was sorta cool. From a certain perspective, bin Laden was cool

for a short period of time. Then, as the years went on, he became rather

thick and ordinary. And getting killed diminished the little cool factor he had

left. 'Tis ever thus.

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> {quote:title=OtisCriblecoblis wrote:}{quote}....From a certain perspective, bin Laden was cool for a short period of time.

 

Hmmmm...well Otis, IF in THAT guy's case you're talkin' about that "short period of time" during which they dropped his dead carcass into the Mediterranean Sea, AND that "certain perspective" bein' from the boat they did that from, THEN ya MIGHT have a point here, ol' buddy!!!

 

(...but other than THAT, I'm sorry but I'm havin' a little trouble seein' how THAT moron was ever very "cool"!)

 

:^0

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And dark, I'm glad to see you've steered this thread back to Sepia's original intent..."who TODAY is 'cool'".

 

(...for which MY money is STILL with Johnny Depp bein' the coolest of the cool in reel AND real life today!)

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Current actors with that cool persona? You're right, Johnny Depp. Sean Penn (yeah, I know he has a lot of detractors, but I like him, and I swear he's cool.) Daniel Craig.

Here's one most people will disagree with, and I don't really know why I think he's cool -he's a bit overweight, which most definitely does not fit with "cool". But somehow he transcends all that.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

 

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Well according to Miss W., overweight does not fit with "cool":. Bin Laden definitely was not overweight.

Nope, you're right finance. Ol' Bin certainly never carried around any extra weight at all.

 

(...well, that IS if ya didn't count the "extra weight" of an AK-47, anyway!) ;)

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misswonderly, Sean Penn has come a long way re acting ability, as has DiCaprio and Matt Damon.

 

I completely agree with you on Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Mr. willbefree and I don't get to see many plays, but I saw PSH and John C. Reilly in True West a hundred years ago, and I *knew* both would be stars someday. It is interesting how much further Hoffman has gone than Reilly, but that might be down to choices rather than talent.

 

I had the same feeling when Tommy Lee Jones and Powers Boothe broke on the acting scene, and again, Jones skyrocketed while Boothe chose badly, imo.

 

I am still waiting for the pay channels to show Capote, I am sure Hoffman is amazing in it. The man will have acting work until he is 101.

 

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