Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

by Daniel Depp

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Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:32 am

Pg. 107-108: “If it were just about beauty, plastic surgeons would charge even more. What you really needed was Soul—or, even better, the ability to convince a camera you had it, whether you did or not. Spandau looked into the perfectly proportioned face, the pale blue eyes. She didn’t have it, even if she clearly had everything else, and the tragedy was that no one was ever going to tell her. Not when you could get so much use out of it.” ?

Is box office success about soul? And what uses were they going to get out of her, praytell?
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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby trygirl » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:13 pm

Spandau has a beautiful sentiment and I wish it were entirely true. But if so then have of the junk that gets made in Hollywood would never see the light of day. I think in the past, stars had to have a certain something, call it soul, je ne sais quoi, or just plain, old-fashioned talent. These days box office success is a feat easily won or lost by a number of reasons, soul being the least of them. Everyone knows a real acting career is not built on box office numbers alone, but on the other hand, actors should be more of a brand than bard. In the end, the crème of the crop will survive and the others will become foot notes. I think "soul" is conducive to any genuine success in life but the box office is no indicator of it. As for the girl, she could be used in a myriad of ways but as pretty scenery for the male audience comes to mind.
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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby ladylinn » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:52 pm

The eyes are the windows of the soul. When talking with or watching someone talk - there is alot to learn by watching their eyes. Are they sincere - or just telling you what you want to hear. People that are photographed or act in movies must be able to convence with their eyes to be successful. (This is just my humble opinion.) :-? When I watch movies some actors just seem to be 'saying lines' not really putting feeling behind them. While others (more successful ones) make you believe that their character is what they are portraying. I am not sure any of this makes sense?? As for the girl - she will be used and then discarded when they are finished with her. Another Hollywood dream that becomes a loser. Wow - that sounded cruel! :ohno:

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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby shadowydog » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:01 pm

Cruel but true, unfortunately. I think another word for "soul" or words would be presence or charisma. Some have it and most don't. I agree that she would be pretty scenery in a movie and that might be all she would ever appear as.
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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:45 pm

Ladylinn, you are making definite sense. Johnny would fit into that category, as he uses his eyes to convey his thoughts and feelings when he acts. When I first read this passage, Johnny immediately came to mind; and so did the word “charisma”, Shadowydog. Johnny has charisma. He has had it all along. But he wasn’t always a big box office draw. But back to what ladylinn was saying…. I do think that there has to be a certain je ne sais quoi, as trygirl called it, that an actor must have—what ladylinn is trying to explain—that makes the actor believable and draws in the audience. It is really hard to explain, but I think it is necessary to be able to pull off a role. I think, though, that certain actors will appeal more to certain viewer, depending on what the patron is looking for in a film.
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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby ladylinn » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:04 pm

Couldn't agree more Liz - Johnny does use his eyes to convey his thoughts and feelings. Well said and thanks for sorting it out. :grin:

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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:21 pm

I'm not sure too many of the actors in action movies have soul (POTC and PE are exceptions, of course!! ;-)), but many of them are hot at the box office. I'm not too qualified to talk on this subject, though, because I think I choose any movie I see by knowing a soulful favorite is in it, just don't watch too many movies, otherwise. Johnny is lucky to be both gorgeous and full of soul (etc., etc.), but soul (or presence or charisma as shadowydog said) rates far above looks for me in choosing a movie.
Praytell, I'm afraid there could be quite a few unsavory types waiting in line to make empty show biz promises to lovely Marcie as long as she goes along with their 'wishes.' :fear: (I guess that's a "use." :perplexed:)
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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby deppaura » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:28 pm

Star quality. Spiritual. Magnetism. Allure. Witchery? Palpable. Why? Why some, not others? Do those with this gift seem to convey a universal truth which is understood and touches all? Or are we subject to the hypnotic appeal? I think it's interesting about the medium. Funny how some folks don't transfer well from television to the "big screen"?? You sure can't buy this power, but, Daniel infers some can successfully pretend at it. Somehow it's mystical attraction. I find the quality fascinating. Oops, I almost forgot my favorite...AURA!! Wow, I keep coming back to edit. On the dark side, it is also the ability to Con.

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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:07 pm

Even though Johnny did not have huge box office numbers for a long time he had the "soul" and he had strength of character enough to chart his own course. Maybe that is part of having "soul", to believe in your gift and to use it for creating the roles you believe in .....roles that you can really portray with "soul." And eventually for Johnny, the box office followed and his underground cult followers had to learn to share him with the world. :baby:

What Daniel refers to here is probably what makes the difference between a loser and a legend. Big box office doesn't guarantee a long career, nor does it mean that you will be remembered when the money is gone. Big box office can be very temporary; I think only the legends have what I would call soul.

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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby gemini » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:43 pm

Hmmmmm. The words soul , charisma, presence, all fit the bill but the first word that popped into my mind was chemistry. The chemistry we usually look for between two people some can project to the audience. I think Spandua felt that even with the girl's beauty she was lacking in that magic and this is true.
Beauty is only skin deep and we all well know that beauty alone does not make an actress or actor. It sure doesn't hurt though!
Then there are character actors who go out of their way not to rely on looks and they have to have some magic to connect with the other actors and the audience. I even think some actors come through well in certain situations and not in others. Are they playing themselves no matter how magnetic and it is lost when the part demands something different? Is acting learned or natural ability?
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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:20 pm

Lots of good questions, deppaura & gemini. And lots of interesting and thoughtful responses, Noodlemantras. Your questions, just confirm for me that there are many factors that play into box office success. But whatever the factors are, IMHO the most important is that “chemistry” that you mention, gemini or "mystical attraction", deppaura—whatever that might mean at the time.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:17 am

Another thought on this - I agree that 'soul' (or whichever word you use to describe that magical ability some actors have to make an audience believe and feel whatever it is they want them to believe and feel) does not directly translate into box office success. I DO think, however, that the classics - the movies that people will still be watching decades from now, and that we watch from decades long ago - all have it. So I do think 'soul' translates into staying power.

Betty Sue wrote:Praytell, I'm afraid there could be quite a few unsavory types waiting in line to make empty show biz promises to lovely Marcie as long as she goes along with their 'wishes.' :fear: (I guess that's a "use." :perplexed:)
Yeah, that's exactly what I took it to mean! (I'd been trying to figure out how to say that without breaking all the rules of ettiquette or just being overtly blunt. :lol: Nicely put, Betty Sue!)

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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:07 pm

Big box office can be very temporary; I think only the legends have what I would call soul.


nebraska, that is how I was going to answer this question too. When you look at the actors that we remember or consider to be the great ones they had it. There are plenty of good actors making not so good movies that generate a lot of box office success but when all is said and done it is the ones with that "soul" that will be considered truly great.
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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby bluebird » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:01 pm

ladylinn wrote:Couldn't agree more Liz - Johnny does use his eyes to convey his thoughts and feelings. Well said and thanks for sorting it out. :grin:


I could name movie after movie, scene after scene, where -- without saying a word, I knew what Johnny was thinking... I'm sure all of you can say the same thing...
Against my better judgement, a couple of my friends last summer MADE me go see a movie with a "box office leading man" in it... It was 2 hours of my life that I will NEVER get back... I tried to explain to them what was lacking in him... the best way I could explain it was that there was nothing in his eyes. No thinking, no intelligence, no feelings... He was acting. He could not, or did not, connect with the character he was playing..... he was soulless...
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Re: Loser's Town Question #10 ~ Soul

Unread postby fansmom » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:45 pm

bluebird wrote:Against my better judgement, a couple of my friends last summer MADE me go see a movie with a "box office leading man" in it... It was 2 hours of my life that I will NEVER get back... I tried to explain to them what was lacking in him... the best way I could explain it was that there was nothing in his eyes. No thinking, no intelligence, no feelings... He was acting. He could not, or did not, connect with the character he was playing..... he was soulless... [/b]
Bluebird, I had just that experience today. I saw a poster for a movie that sounded interesting until I noticed that the leading man was someone I think has vacant eyes. I can't stand to watch him. Very handsome, but like Gertrude Stein said, there is no there there.


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