Exercise 1

1. Listen to the programme. Do both presenters think there is too much CGI in modern films?

2. Listen again. Are the sentences true (T) or false (F)?

1   Ellie says that directors seem to be more focused on special effects than the story.

2   Casablanca was filmed in Paris.

3   The fight scene in Inception was made using CGI.

4   Nick thinks that good directors should be able to use technology well.



One of the presenters (Ellie) thinks there is too much CGI in modern films. The other presenter (Nick) disagrees.


1 T

2 F   It was all filmed in a studio in California.

3 F   ‘… that wasn’t done with special effects. They made a room that actually moved around.’

4 T


ELLIE   Nick, it’s time to talk about cinema.


E   Yeah, the thing is, I have a bit of a problem with films these days.

N   What’s that?

E   Well, I’m getting a bit sick and tired of all the CGI. You know, I go to watch a drama, or an action film – and it just doesn’t look real. It’s the directors! They just seem to focus so much on cool special effects – they forget about the story. Think about classic films like Casablanca. They had absolutely no special effects. Just good story-telling, good characters, good acting.

N   But Ellie, even Casablanca has special effects. You know those scenes where they’re driving through the streets of Paris – well, that wasn’t Paris – it was all filmed in a studio in California! I think CGI is a fantastic tool for directors. Nowadays we can tell stories that wouldn’t have been possible 50 years ago. The Hobbit, The Life of Pi, even Star Wars. You couldn’t make any of them without special effects.

E   But still … I really think special effects are used so much more than necessary. Take Christopher Nolan …

N   Christopher Nolan who made the Batman films? And inception? He uses loads of special effects!

E   Yes, but he only uses them when he really has to. When he was making inception, he filmed in six different countries to get the different scenes he needed. And remember that fight scene in the room that was moving and turning?

N   Oh yes, I do.

E   Well, that wasn’t done with special effects. They made a room that actually moved around. Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt had to fight in it.

 Wow, I didn’t know that.

 Impressive, right?

 OK, yes, that’s clever. But I think that just shows that good directors can have good actors and a good story and they can also use modern technology. And when the technology is used with imagination and creativity, the results can be amazing. Really spectacular.

Exercise 2

1. Listen to three people talk about a music experience which changed their life. Match each speaker with photos a-c.

Annie _____       Jeff _____      Erica _____

2. Listen again and make notes in the table.


What sort of music do they talk about?

Where was the event?

How did it change his/her life?















Annie c Jeff a Erica b



What sort of music do they talk about?

Where was the event?

How did it change his/her life?



in the street

decided to become a teacher



in a stadium in Verona, Italy

one of the people in his group became his wife


folk music

on a boat in Budapest, Hungary

moved to Hungary


ANNIE   Well, my music experience sort of started when I was seven. It was my grandmother who started it. She gave me a CD of samba music. I loved the rhythms. I played it constantly. My mum says I was always dancing to it. Samba music is Brazilian music with African rhythms and it’s very loud, very energetic. Eventually, I decided I wanted to play the music, not just listen to it, so I saved up and bought a drum. It was an atabaque … it’s a drum you play with your hands. I taught myself to play it. And this year, I played in my first street carnival. We were playing in the street, and people around us were dancing, and it was like my whole body was part of the rhythm. It was incredible, the best thing I’ve ever done! So now I’ve decided that I want to be a music teacher.

JEFF   Yeah, well, my music experience was going to the opera. I was travelling through Italy with a group from university. We got to Verona and there was this opera festival on. I wasn’t really interested in opera, but my friends persuaded me to go. To be honest, it was a bit boring at first. But then it started to get dark. It was a clear night and you could see the stars. I was sitting next to one of the people who was in my group, Laura, and it was, you know, romantic, sitting under the stars, listening to this amazing music. And, well, we’ve been together ever since! We even went back to Verona for our honeymoon. Although we didn’t go to the opera!

ERICA   My friend Mark was living in Budapest, in Hungary, and I went to visit him. Mark knew a lot of places in the city and he took me to an old boat on the river, where you can hear bands practising. The atmosphere was great. It’s the kind of place where you could sit and chat all night. Anyway, this band was amazing. They were playing folk music from Transylvania. I particularly remember the violinist. I’ll never forget the way he played – so fast, but so relaxed. So there I was, in the middle of a freezing, icy river, listening to this amazing music. And I realised this is where I want to be. So a few months later, I quit my job, and Mark helped me find a job in Budapest. And I stayed there for nearly 10 years.

Exercise 3

1. Listen to Part 1. Which activities are mentioned? What do the decide to do in the end?

2. Listen to Part 1 again. Who …

1   suggests going to jazz club? Becky / Mark

2   suggests going to a classical music festival? Becky / Rachel

3   doesn’t like classical music? Becky / Tom

4   suggests a local rock band? Tom / Rachel

5   hasn’t seen a rock band for 10 years? Rachel / Mark



They mention going to a jazz club or a classical music festival. They decide to go and see a local band called The Snowmen.


1 Becky   2 Rachel   3 Becky   4 Tom   5 Mark


Part 1

RACHEL   Hi, Becky.

BECKY   Hi, Rachel!

R   How are you?

B   I‘m good, thanks. Listen, Tom and I were thinking about going to see a band tomorrow night. Would you guys like to come?

R   Oh, that’s a great idea. Who were you planning to see?

B   Well, we thought about going to that jazz club in town. They have live music every Friday and it’s meant to be excellent.

R   Wait a sec, I’ll just ask Mark. … Mark, it’s Becky. She wants to know if we’d like to go to a jazz club tomorrow evening. … Ah, sorry, Becky. Mark says he’s not that keen on jazz. How about going to the classical music festival at the university? It’s supposed to be really good.

B   Hmm, I’m not a big fan of classical music. I’m sure Tom would like it, but not me. Hang on. Tom wants to say something.

TOM   Why don’t we go and see that local band, The Snowmen? They’re playing at the Empire tomorrow and they’ve had great reviews.

B   Did you hear what Tom said?

R   Yes, but I’m not sure Mark would be interested. What kind of music do they play?

B   What kind of music is it, Tom?

T   It’s rock, but it’s a bit retro. They sound quite 1980s, so Mark should like it.

B   Tom says it’s rock, but a bit retro. 80s’ music.

R   I doubt Mark would be interested. He hasn’t seen a rock band for about 10 years. Wait a moment, I’ll ask him. Tom’s suggesting an 80s’ rock band.

MARK   Um, yeah! Sounds good. Let’s do it!


M   Yeah, why not? Something a bit different.

 Um, Becky, are you still there?


 Mark says yes! So what time does it start?

 Hang on a moment, I’ll pass you over to Tom. What time does it start?

 Hi, Rach. It starts at 8, so shall we meet outside at half past seven?

 Great. See you there.

 Oh, and tell Mark to wear something cool.

Exercise 4

1. Listen to Anna and her friend, Camila. Answer the questions.

1   Who has tickets to the Kanye West concert?

2   Who doesn’t want to go?

3   Why doesn’t she want to go?


1   Anna

2   Camila

3   She doesn’t want to go because she doesn’t like live music. This is because in concerts, the musicians often make mistakes. She doesn’t like the crowds and you can usually only see the singer on the big screen.


ANNA   I got two free tickets to the Kanye West concert. I mean, I couldn’t believe it! Kanye West, one of the biggest hip-hop stars, for free! So I invited my friend Camila and she said ‘no thanks’! And I said ‘What? Are you crazy? The ticket costs nothing’. But then she tells me she doesn’t like live music. She’d prefer to stay at home and listen to music on her computer. I find that very strange because, for me, music is something full of … full of the singer’s feelings, and if you can watch a singer perform, you can see what they’re feeling and experience the music much more. But Camila thinks recorded music is better because you can hear everything more clearly. The quality’s better, and you don’t have crowds around you, and it’s just easier to enjoy it. For me, it’s more important to see the song come to life when the singer or band connects with the audience. And the other thing I love at the concert is the music is really loud. Anyway, Camila won’t be coming with me, but lots of other people will want to.

CAMILA   My friend Anna invited me to go to the Kanye West concert next month. She managed to get hold of two free tickets – she’s very lucky. She asked me to go with her, but I said no. She thinks I must be mad, saying no to free tickets! I mean, I really like Kanye West and I’ve got all his albums, but I just don’t like going to live concerts. I really prefer listening to music at home or through headphones. In a concert, singers and musicians always make mistakes. They get the rhythm a bit wrong or play notes that are wrong or something. And you see, mistakes can be fixed in recording. Well, that’s part of it. The other thing is, but I didn’t tell Anna this, I hate the crowds and there are usually so many people that you can only see the singer on the big screen. So what’s the point? I know lots of friends who will want the ticket. It was very kind of Anna, but no.

Exercise 5

1. Listen to three people talking and tick (✓) the correct answers.

1   The speakers must be …

      a   at a local cinema.

      b   at someone’s house.

      c   in a classroom.

2   The speakers are trying to decide …

      a   what to buy.

      b   what to eat.

      c   what to watch.

3   Which type of film do the women not want to watch?

      a   comedy

      b   documentary

      c   science fiction

4   Which type of film do they all agree to watch?

      a   comedy

      b   documentary

      c   science fiction

2. Listen again. Complete the sentences with the words you hear in the conversation.

1   The man says he remembered to order a _________ pizza.

2   The are going to watch the films on the _________.

3   Blackfish is the name of a _________ film.

4   The man thinks the film Blackfish will probably be quite _________.

5   According to one of the women, the film Man on the Moon has amazing _________, beautiful photography and a great story.

 The man does not think that Man on the Moon is a _________.

 The film they all agree to watch is an _________ film.



1 b   2 c   3 c   4 a


1 vegetarian   2 computer   3 documentary

4 serious   5 performances   6 comedy   7 animated


DAVE   OK, so that’s the pizzas ordered.

MELISSA   You remembered to get a vegetarian one For Greg and Kate, didn’t you?

D   Yes, yes. I got a vegetarian special. Oh, and there’s plenty to drink for everyone too.

M   Great. OK, so what film do we choose? This is supposed to be movie night after all.

D   Well, let’s have a look. Have you got all of them on your computer?

M   Yes. I’ve downloaded a few so we’ve got a good variety to choose from. Do you want to have a look with me so we can pick something?

 Sure, thanks. OK, so let’s have a look. What’s this, Blackfish? Is that a horror movie?

M   Oh, no, it’s a documentary. You haven’t heard of it, then?


M   Well, it’s about the way killer whales are looked after in places like Sea World and Ocean World and that sort of thing.

D   Oh, yeah?

M   Yeah. It’s an amazing film.

D   So you’ve seen it already?

M   Yeah, but I don’t mind seeing it again.

D   Hmm. Sounds a bit serious though. I mean I like documentaries but I think it would be better to watch something fun. What do you think?

M   Hmm, yes you’ve got a good point there. OK, well we don’t have to watch that one. It was just an idea.

D   Great. So what about a comedy? Have you got any good ones?

LUCY   Well, there’s this one. It’s quite old now but it’s Got Jim Caney in it and he’s usually quite funny, isn’t he?

D   Jim Carrey?

 Yeah, you know, um … Well anyway, Man on the Moon is supposed to be really good. Amazing performances, beautiful photography and a great story. I mean, it sounds really interesting and it was highly recommended by Professor Thomas.

D   You mean your film studies lecturer?

 Yes, that’s the one.

D   Err, sounds a bit serious again. It says here that it’s the biography of a comic actor but I’m not sure that it’s actually a comedy. Yeah, look- most of the film is about the problem she had and about how he had to deal with a terrible illness. I’m not a big fan of films that are more intelligent than the audience, do you know what I mean? … You two really hate me now, don’t you?

L   No! Not yet.

M   But I might do in a minute if you don’t choose a film. Everyone will be here soon.

D   OK, OK, just a moment. Hang on while I … There’s Star Wars.

M/L   No!

M   I’m not really a fan of science fiction. And neither Is Ofelia, or Rachel, or …

L   Or Gregor Kate. Or me.

D   OK, OK. Wait a minute. Oh! Oh! I’ve found it! I’ve found it! This is the one!

 The Lego Movie? Isn’t that a cartoon?

M   It’s meant to be for kids, isn’t it?

D   Well, it is an animated film, but it’s not just for kids. It’s a comedy. And it’s got some great songs. It’s supposed to be really funny.

M   Well…

D   Will Ferrell does one of the voices.

M   OK, then.

L   Oh, OK then. Oh, have you got the cash for the pizza guy? Or do you need some more?

D   Yes, I went to the bank earlier and …

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This