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Reading

City Activities

by Thomas Hart Benton.

The artist gives his view of American society in the 1920s.

 

1. Read the text and fill in the gaps with the words from the box below. (The first one has been done for you).

pictures actors fan magazines film-making studios screens

“stars” audiences publicity favourite dream lined up film attraction

THE MOVIES

In the 1920s American movies filled the cinema screens of the world. Most were made in Holly­wood, a suburb of the city of Los Angeles in California. Hollywood's big ________ for film-­makers was its clean air and plentiful sunshine. The movies made there were bright and clear. By the 1920s it had become the ________ capital of the world.

 

Hollywood movies were made by large companies called ________. The men who ran these studios were businessmen and their main aim was to make as much money as possible. They soon found that one way to do this was to standardize their films. When ________ had shown that they liked a certain kind of film, the studios made many more of exactly the same kind.

 

Another sure way for a studio to make money was to turn its actors into ________. Stars were actors who were so popular that people went in crowds to see any ________ they appeared in, no matter how good or bad it was. A famous star could make any movie a certain success. So the studios went to great lengths to make their _______ into stars. They encouraged __________. They set up special _________ departments to get stories about their actors into the newspapers.

 

The movies of the 1920s were silent. They spoke in ________, not words, and so their language was international. All over the world, from Berlin to Tokyo, from London to Buenos Aires, tens of millions of people _________ every night of the week to see their ________ Hollywood stars – and, without realizing it, to be Americanized.

 

Hollywood movies showed people a world that was more exciting, more free, more equal, than their own. To most people this world of the movies remained a _______ world, separate from real life. But to others it became more. It made them realize, however dimly, that perhaps their own conditions of life could be improved.

 

2. Discuss the following questions:

1. There are two different ways Hollywood films influenced people all over the world mentioned in the text. What are they? Are they the same now?

2. Which kind of influence on Russian people, if any, is taking place at the moment?

3. Do you have a favourite Hollywood film / Hollywood star?

Language Work

1. Find examples of how the words OTHER and ANOTHER are used in the text about American movies. Can you explain the usage?

 

2. Study the box below and use this information to do the exercises that follow.

1. Other (people or things) or others mean several more besides those already mentioned, different from those mentioned.
  • People watch football, rugby, horse racing and other games and sporting events.
  • Some people spend Sunday evening quietly at home, others go to see friends.
2. The other people or things or the others mean all the rest (besides those mentioned)
  • The Johnsons are staying for the night, the other guests (or the others) are leaving.
3. The other person or thing or simply the other, when speaking of two, means the second of the two.
  • On the one hand, he is quite right, on the other hand, he is not.
4. Another is always singular and has two meanings: 1) a different one · In the room Ann saw a small cupboard for plates, cups and then another one: for clothes. 2) an additional one
      • She took one book, then another.
  ! We can use another before a plural noun in expressions with few or a number We have another three tickets. We are staying here for another few weeks.

 



 

3. Fill in the gaps using another, (the) other, (the) others.

1. Could I have ___________ piece of bread ?

2. I’m staying for ____________ few weeks.

3. Where are the __________ photos ?

4. We need _____________ three chairs.

5. Have you got any ______________ cakes, or are these the only ones?

6. Why don’t you think more about _____________ people ?

7. I think we should paint it ___________ colour.

8. These photos are small. Have you got any ___________ ?

 

4. Explain the use of another, (the) other, (the) others in the

following sentences.

1. I don’t want this book. Please give me another.

2. I don’t want this book. Please give me the other one.

3. This chemical is poisonous. Others are poisonous too.

4. I don’t want these books. Please give me the others.

5. I don’t want these books. Please give me another one.

6. I don’t want this book. Please give me the other one.

 

5. Make up short stories or situations leading up to the following concluding sentences:

1. … but I didn’t manage to convince the others.

2. … and he had to take another.

3. …he meant another country (person, story, ets.)

4. … It turned out she had been learning other languages.

5. … Later we learnt that there were other ways of doing it.

Listening 1 Films

 

1. Listen to these extracts from film soundtracks. What type of film do you think they go with? Choose from the list below.

 

romantic comedy gangster action thriller horror

science fiction western love story war comedy

2. What kind of films do you like?

 

3. Look at this shot.

What kind of film

is it? Have you seen

the film? What is it

called? Look at

the cinema

information

brochure. Listen

to the recorded message

and

complete it.

4. Listen to Christine and Malcolm talking about the film Notting Hill. Which of them:

1 loved the film?

2 thought the story was not very good?

3 thought the dialogues were great?

4 liked Julia Roberts in the film?

5 didn’t like Hugh Grant?

5. Listen to the dialogue again and complete the Function File with these words.

amazing loved true brilliant the point so

funny fantastic part scene silly quite

special favourite clever thought

FUNCTION FILE

EXPRESSING OPINIONS ABOUT FILMS

What did you think of the film?

 

I thought it was absolutely (1) ___________.

It was (2) __________ funny, I suppose, but it was nothing (3) __________.

My (4) __________ character was the flatmate.

The dialogue was very (5) __________.

That’s (6) __________. But the plot was a bit (7) __________.

That’s not (8) __________. The situation was very (9) __________.

For me, Julia Roberts was absolutely (10) __________ in the film.

She’s an (11) __________ actress, isn’t she?

But Hugh Grant always plays the same (12) __________.

Oh come on!

Well, I (13) __________ he was quite good in the interview scene.

So, what (14) __________did you like best?

I really (15) __________ the dinner scene.

It was (16) __________ funny.

v What tense is used to express opinions about films?

v To express your opinion about something you need verbs like ‘love’, ‘dislike’, ‘enjoy’ etc. and adjectives like ‘good’, funny’, ‘interesting’, ‘brilliant’ etc.

 

Language Work

1. Add more verbs showing attitude to the lists given below.

+ -
love, enjoy,   dislike,

2. Study the examples below and fill in the rule.

§ Ann hates flying.

§ She loves to make new friends everywhere she goes.

§ Why do you dislike living here?

§ I don’t like people shouting at me. (=I don’t like being shouted at.)

§ I love meeting people.

§ She can’t bear being alone.

§ I can’t bear to participate in quarrels.

§ They enjoy dancing.

§ Tom doesn’t mind working at night.

§ I can’t stand being addressed like that.

 

After verbs ________, ________, ________we can use either –ing or to.

Verbs ________, ________, ________, ________ can be followed by –ing only.

 

3. Explain if there is any difference between adjectives used in the following combinations:

a good film an interesting story a bad deed

a brilliant film a fascinating story an awful deed

 

Fill in the gaps in the explanation:

The adjectives ____________, ____________, ____________ can have comparative and superlative forms and be used with words such as very, more or less to say that a thing or person has more or less of a particular quality. Such adjectives are called gradable adjectives.

The adjectives ____________, ____________, ____________ themselves imply ‘to a large degree’ and are seldom used with these adverbs. They are called ungradable adjectives.

4. Study the following chart and match the groups of adverbs with the groups of adjectives they can be used with. Give names to groups of adjectives: gradable/ungradable.

degree adverbs   _______________adjectives
absolutely, completely, pretty, really, totally, simply   angry, big, busy, comfortable, common, happy, important, quiet, rich, strong, young
degree adverbs   _______________ adjectives
extremely, deeply, fairly, pretty (informal), rather, really, slightly, very   amazed, awful, dreadful, furious, huge, impossible, invaluable, terrible, wonderful, useless

 

5. Are the underlined adjectives gradable or ungradable? Suggest an appropriate adverb to complete each sentence. Try to use a different adverb each time.

1. The play was .................... marvellous.

2. The answer is .................... simple.

3. His new flat is .................... enormous.

4. He was .................... devastated by the news.

5. The instructions were .................... complicated.

6. I was .................... disappointed.

7. The answer was .................... absurd.

8. The questions were .................... hard.

9. Her books are ............... popular.

10. I was .................... terrified by the film.

11. He’s a(n) .................... successful artist.

12. He’s a(n) .................... essential member of the team.

6. Answer the following questions. Use an adverb + adjective in your response. How would you feel if:

 

· a friend said s/he had just won a million pounds? I’d be absolutely delighted.

· your best friend told you s/he was emigrating to Australia?

· someone broke a window in your house or flat?

· a complete stranger told you that you were very beautiful/handsome?

· you lost some airline tickets you had just bought?

Writing A Review

 

Strategy: when you are asked to write a review of something you have seen (e.g. a film or play), or read (e.g. a novel), follow this advice.
  • Use a fairly formal style — don't be too informal and chatty.
  • Don't assume the reader knows the story — summarise it clearly and concisely.
  • Avoid using I think and in my opinion — try to be objective.
  • Always make a final recommendation.
Remember, your review doesn't necessarily have to be about something you liked or enjoyed.

 

1. Discuss these questions.

1. Where do you expect to find reviews of books, films etc.?

2. What is their purpose?

3. What do you expect a review to contain?

4. Do you read reviews? If yes, do you take any notice of them?

 

2. Read the review of the film Tin Cup and answer these questions.

1. Who is the director? Who does the film star?

2. What type of film is it?

3. Who does Kevin Costner play?

4. Where is the film set? What is it about? Paraphrase the story briefly. (Notice the use of the present tense.)

5. What is the reviewer's opinion of the film? of the performances?

6. How would you describe the style and register of the review? Quite formal or chatty? Personal and subjective or impersonal and objective?

7. What is the effect of the review on you? Would you like to see the film? Why/why not?

 

TIN CUP DIRECTED BY RON SHELTON STARRING KEVIN COSTNER RENÉ RUSSO DON JOHNSON Kevin Costner returns to a genre he's adept at, namely romantic comedy, teaming up with director Ron Shelton for a film that reconfirms his position as both modern cinema's finest romantic leading man and a gifted comedy actor. Costner stars as Ron 'Tin Cup' McAvoy, an ex-college golfing champion whose stubbornness hampered his natural ability to swing a club and consequently kept him off the professional touring circuit. He trades on his former glories, giving lessons on a run-down driving range in the middle of rural Texas. But when the new psychiatrist in town (played by René Russo, never better) turns up one evening for a lesson, McAvoy is immediately smitten with love for her. He sets out to woo her, but after his normal romantic technique fails to convince, he decides that only a grand gesture will do and he sets out to win the US Open. So determined is he to succeed in sport and love that he makes some extraordinary and hilarious changes in his personality and style of play. Tin Cup is a deliciously witty, profound and sly exploration of love, redemption and one man's quest for immortality. Shelton uses the ritual and metaphors of sport to relate the complexities of love and relationships. The performances throughout are spot on, with Costner once again on top form. Quite wonderful. I can thoroughly recommend it.

 

3. Here are some words that can be used to talk about films. Check you know what they mean, and add more from the review of Tin Cup. Then discuss the questions below.

 

thriller / horror film / epic / animated film / science fiction

 

director / scriptwriter / star / leading man / supporting cast / extra / stunt man

 

screenplay / dialogue / sound track / special effects

 

a box-office success / flop

 

1. What's your favourite type of film?

2. Who's your favourite director? actor?

3. Can you name a recent box-office success?

4. Can you name any famous films that rely on special effects?

 

4. Here are some adjectives often found in reviews. Put the adjectives into two groups, positive and negative.

 

moving / predictable / funny / sophisticated / clichéd / stylish / atmospheric / (un) sentimental / entertaining / spine-chilling / spectacular / over-hyped / disappointing / heavy-handed

 

positive negative
   

 

Which adjectives could you use to describe the genres and films you discussed in Exercise 3?

 

5. In reviews, adverbs are often used to intensify adjectives upwards or downwards. They fall into the following groups.

  • adverbs like very, used for extra emphasis.
  • adverbs like absolutely, completely, entirely, totally, which mean in every way
  • adverbs that collocate with particular adjectives,
    e.g.: utterly ridiculous/delightful/enchanting

highly successful/improbable

hugely successful/expensive

  • adverbs like quite ( = moderately/rather/fairly) tone an adjective down.

 

Use an appropriate adverb from these groups to modify the adjectives in Exercise 4. For example: totally predictable

 

6. Work in pairs or groups. Tell each other about a film you have seen recently, using the vocabulary in Exercises 3, 4 and 5. Give a summary of the story and your opinion of the film.

 

7. Read the writing task and follow the Steps to Writing below.

Choose a film or a book that you have enjoyed (or not enjoyed) recently and write a review of it for a student magazine. Give details of the content and your assessment of it. Say whether you would recommend it to your fellow students. Write approximately 250 words.

 

Step 1 Task interpretation

Who will read your review? What is your purpose in writing? What will be the most appropriate register and tone?

 

Step 2 Generating ideas

Decide if you are going to write about a film or a book. Use questions 1—5 in Exercise 2 to guide you, and jot down your answers in note form.

 

Step 3 Layout and organisation

Organise your ideas into paragraphs. How many paragraphs will you need?

 

Step 4 Write

  • Remember to use a range of vocabulary and structures for interest and variety. The following paragraph describes a thriller. How many different ways can you think of to combine the sentences?

The book is about Mark Fletcher. He is searching for his elder brother, Stephen. Stephen disappeared five years ago. Mark is convinced that he's still alive. Mark begins his search in London. He bravely confronts the many dangers and difficulties that lie in his path. Mark finally finds his brother. He discovers the bitter truth.

 

  • Write your review.

 

Step 5 Evaluate and edit

When you have finished, re-read and evaluate your work carefully.

 

Language Bank Describing The film/book is produced/written/published by ... It's set in .../It deals with/tells the story of ... The story describes/portrays/is about... The story is based on/taken from the novel by ... The starring role/female lead is played by ... Assessing The special effects are marvellous. However, the plot is not always convincing. Although X is excellent, the acting is generally rather wooden. Making a recommendation Nevertheless, this is a book/film well worth considering. If you enjoy spectacular epics, this is the film for you. Predictable and heavy-handed, this is definitely one to miss!

/From Fast Track to CAE/

 


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1847


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