Exercise 1

A. Listen. What do Oscar and Hana talk about?

B. Listen again. Complete the chart about Oscar’s new favorite show.

Title

Genre

Ways Oscar describes it

Ways Hana describes it

 

 

 

 

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Oscar:   Have you __________ anything good lately?

Hana:   I have. I’ve been watching some really great old movies.

Oscar:   __________? Like what?

Hana:   You know, the old blockbusters like Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, and Casablanca. Last night I saw Titanic. What a(n) __________ story!

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Hana:   Oscar! Be careful! Watch out!

Oscar:   Huh. Thanks! I just can’t stop watching this TV show.

Hana:   I can see that! You almost walked into that plant. What show?

Oscar:   Doctor Who. It’s so suspenseful. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.

Hana:   Oh, how long have you been watching it?

Oscar:   I’ve been binge-watching it ever since I got to New York.

Hana:   Wow! That show must be good. So, what’s it about?

Oscar:   It’s about an alien who travels through time to solve problems.

Hana:   Oh, really? Are you into sci-f?

Oscar:   Totally. Are you?

Hana:   Not that much. Actually, I find science fiction a little weird.

Oscar:   Yeah, but this show is so creative. The Doctor always finds clever, imaginative ways to fix things.

Hana:   Hmm. That does sound kind of interesting. Maybe I’ll check it out.

Oscar:   You should. You might like it. So, how about you? Have you been watching anything good lately?

Hana:   I have. I’ve been watching some really great old movies.

Oscar:   Oh, yeah? Like what?

Hana:   You know, the old blockbusters like Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, and Casablanca. Last night I saw Titanic. What a romantic story!

Oscar:   Is it?

Hana:   For sure. But of course, it’s heartbreaking, too. I cried at the end.

Oscar:   You did?

Hana:   Yeah. Like a baby! The story was so sad. That’s what makes it such a great movie. Well, I’m going to get some coffee.

Oscar:   OK. See you later.

Hana:   And Oscar? Try not to walk into any more plants today.

Oscar:   Ha-ha. Let’s pretend you didn’t see that, OK?

C

Oscar:   Have you been watching anything good lately?

Hana:   I have. I’ve been watching some really great old movies.

Oscar:   Oh, yeah? Like what?

Hana:   You know, the old blockbusters like Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, and Casablanca. Last night I saw Titanic. What a romantic story!

Exercise 2

A. Listen. What do Hana and Oscar talk about?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What movie has Oscar never seen before?

 What does Hana like best about the movie?

 Why does Hana like the movie’s two stars?

 How do Oscar and Hana summarize the movie?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Hana:   The _________ of the movie is the Titanic in the year 1912, so that part is real. But it’s not a documentary—it’s a love story.

Oscar:   Oh.

Hana:   _________ is the main character, Rose. She’s played by two different actresses.

Oscar:   Really?

Hana:   Yep. We first see Rose as an old woman in 1996. She’s the _________ of the story and one of the last living survivors of the Titanic.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Hana:   Hey, Oscar. How’s it going?

Oscar:   Good. I just had lunch.

Hana:   You know, I’m still thinking about Titanic. I can’t get the last scene out of my head, when Jack dies.

Oscar:   Whoa! Spoiler! I have to confess, I’ve never actually seen that movie.

Hana:   You’re kidding! You must be the only person in the world!

Oscar:   I know the true story of the Titanic. How close is the movie to that?

Hana:   Well, it’s sort of similar. The setting of the movie is the Titanic in the year 1912, so that part is real. But it’s not a documentary—it’s a love story.

Oscar:   Oh.

Hana:   What I find so interesting is the main character, Rose. She’s played by two different actresses.

Oscar:   Really?

Hana:   Yep. We first see Rose as an old woman in 1996. She’s the narrator of the story and one of the last living survivors of the Titanic.

Oscar:   Whoa, well, she must be really old!

Hana:   Well, yeah, she’s more than a hundred years old at the beginning of the movie. The movie starts in the present and goes back to the past. In the next scene, we see Rose as a young woman boarding the ship. She’s really unhappy because she’s being forced to marry someone she doesn’t love.

Oscar:   But isn’t this supposed to be a love story?

Hana:   It is! On the ship, Rose gets into a fight with her fiancée and falls in love with another man named Jack.

Oscar:   Wow. So, what happens next?

Hana:   Well, you don’t want me to spoil the whole plot, do you?

Oscar:   No…I guess not. But I still don’t get why it’s so popular.

Hana:   Lots of reasons. What I like best is the dialog. It’s so romantic. My friends and I still quote lines from the movie.

Oscar:   Huh.

Hana:   Plus, you really believe that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are in love. They have great chemistry. I can’t imagine any other stars playing those roles.

Oscar:   So, girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, girl loses boy—

Hana:   And girl never forgets what happened. Actually, that’s a pretty good way to summarize it!

C

Hana:   The setting of the movie is the Titanic in the year 1912, so that part is real. But it’s not a documentary—it’s a love story.

Oscar:   Oh.

Hana:   What I find so interesting is the main character, Rose. She’s played by two different actresses.

Oscar:   Really?

Hana:   Yep. We first see Rose as an old woman in 1996. She’s the narrator of the story and one of the last living survivors of the Titanic.

Exercise 3

A. Listen. What is the main idea of the talk?

B. Listen again. Complete the examples for each idea.

Great movies affect our emotions.

1   They don’t just move us to tears—they also __________ make us laugh out loud, and even cause us to jump of our seats in __________.

2   We __________ Rick’s pain as he says good-bye.

Great movies are innovative.

 To film the epic space battles, they built a fleet of miniature __________.

 They created the sound of spaceships screeching across the universe by recording __________ driving on a wet highway and combining these sounds with the sounds of angry __________.

C. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What diff cult decision does Rick have to make in Casablanca?

 What does the audience learn about from watching Casablanca?

 What did George Lucas need to do before he could make Star Wars? Why?

 How did the first audiences respond to Star Wars?

Answers & Audioscripts

What Makes a Movie a Classic?

So, anyone seen a good movie lately? I’m sure you have. The first feature-length film was The Story of the Kelly Gang. Since then, the motion-picture industry has produced more than 500,000 films. But, which of these deserve to be called classics? Among the things that make movies great here are two: the effect they have on our emotions and their technological achievements.

Let’s start with the effect they have on our emotions. How many of you have ever cried at the movies? Be honest. Even if you haven’t, I know you recognize that movies have the power to touch us. They don’t just move us to tears—they also make us laugh out loud, and even cause us to jump out of our seats in fear.

Here’s an example. Casablanca is often called one of the best films of all time. Set during World War II, this film stars Humphrey Bogart, who plays Rick, the owner of a nightclub, and Ingrid Bergman, who plays Rick’s former lover, Ilsa, who’s now married. Ilsa and her husband need Rick’s help to escape from German soldiers. In the last scene, Rick’s decision is whether or not to help the couple escape, even though he still loves Ilsa and knows he’ll never see her again. We share Rick’s pain as he says goodbye but respect his decision to do the right thing. We learn about love, and yes, we cry.

Another way that movies become classics is by telling a story in a way that has never been done before. I’m talking about innovative techniques and cutting-edge technology. Think of the 1977 film Star Wars. Writer and director George Lucas had a vision about good and evil battling it out in space, but he needed new technology to bring his fantastic ideas to the screen. Lucas created his own special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic. Working night and day in a warehouse, this talented group of young artists and engineers let their imaginations run wild. By experimenting with new animation, photography, and sound techniques, this team pushed technology to new limits. To film the epic space battles, they built a fleet of miniature spaceships and developed a computer-controlled camera system. They created the sound of spaceships screeching across the universe by recording cars driving on a wet highway and combining these sounds with the sounds of angry elephants. Transported by new sights and sounds to galaxies far, far away, audiences left theaters absolutely amazed and Star Wars became one of the most popular films in history. A classic.

Some great movies touch our emotions deeply and some break new ground technologically. Are these the only things that define classic movies? Definitely not. There are plenty of other things that make movies great. I wish we had more time to discuss some of them, and I’m sure you have your own ideas too. But I believe that the best movies will continue to inspire us emotionally and engage us for their technological feats long after their original release. Of those 500,000 films, they’re the ones we’ll remember the most.

Exercise 4

A. Listen to the interview. What is the main idea?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions, according to the interview.

 How did audiences know what the actors were saying when the movies were silent?

 What happened to the actors from the Silent Era after most Hollywood films became talkies?

 How did the introduction of CGI change movies?

 How do you think Lois Clark feels about technological changes in the future?

Answers & Audioscripts

Technology Changed Everything About How We Watch Movies

Film historian Lois Clark has written a new book about the history of film technology. She agreed to talk with us about how technology has changed the film industry and the lives of the people who work in it.

Interviewer:   What do you consider the most important change in the 20th century?

Lois Clark:   Without a doubt, the introduction of full-length “talkies” in 1927. Before then, audiences would watch silent films. In these films, they could see the actors’ lips moving, but they couldn’t hear any words. Dialog cards appeared on the screen after the lines were spoken.

I:   So theaters were totally silent back then?

LC:   Actually, most theaters hired musicians who sat below the screen and played music that matched the mood of each scene—fast, loud music during the action and slow, soft music for romantic scenes. The film The Jazz Singer changed all that. It featured the first words ever spoken in a film, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You ain’t heard nothing yet!” Audiences were astonished.

I:   Wow. That must have really been a game changer.

LC:   Totally. Only two years later, almost all Hollywood films were talkies. Not only did this change the way we watch movies, but it also had a major impact on the industry. Some stars like Joan Crawford and Laurel and Hardy made successful transitions from the Silent Era to the talkies. But for others, the introduction of sound was disastrous. Some of these actors couldn’t adapt well to expressing themselves with words instead of facial expressions and motions. Others struggled because of their voices. Raymond Griffith had been a famous actor during the Silent Era. However, he had lost his voice when he was young and could only speak quietly. When the talkies took over, Griffith’s career as an actor came to an end, and he is almost completely forgotten today.

I:   Aside from the introduction of sound, what else most changed movies?

LC:   The biggest visual innovation has been the development of CGI, computer-generated imagery.

I:   How so?

LC:   Before, what audiences saw was in some way real. For example, films advertised as having a cast of thousands really had thousands of extras. The 1982 movie Gandhi holds the record for using more than 300,000 extras in the funeral scene shot in Delhi. Today, it would be inconceivable to use so many people. Even in 2000, Gladiator was using CGI instead of extras. The crowd in the fight scenes included more than 30,000 CGI spectators instead of real people.

I:   What changes can we expect in the future?

LC:   Who knows? One hundred years ago, few people could imagine hearing actors’ voices in a film. Since then, there have been a lot of successes and failures. Drones have completely changed the way aerial shots are filmed. 3-D movies, on the other hand, have never really become as popular as expected, despite the early success of Avatar. They are just too expensive for film studios to make, and many viewers don’t enjoy wearing 3-D glasses. Nowadays, everyone is wondering if virtual reality can be the next big thing. I’m sure in the future, there will be ways to experience films that we can’t even imagine right now. All I know is that it’s exciting to think about what the next breakthrough will be and how it could change movies forever.

Exercise 5

A. Listen. What is the presentation about?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

1   What kind of movies and TV shows does Junio like best?

2   What three reasons does Junio give?

Answers & Audioscripts

I love heartbreaking dramas, suspenseful thrillers, and hilarious comedies, but my favorite TV shows and movies are documentaries.

The main reason I like documentaries is because I grew up in a small town. Documentaries were like my window to the larger world. I used to think that everyone’s life was like mine, and that everyone had the same beliefs as the people around me. Documentaries introduced me to people from other cultures. They taught me about other customs and worldviews.

Another reason I love documentaries is because they’re an easy way to learn about other subjects. I can always get information by reading, but sometimes it’s more interesting to listen to a narrator describe art, nature, history, health, or sports with a soundtrack in the background. I especially like documentaries about history. Important events from the past seem more real because of the way that documentaries combine sights and sounds.

What’s most fantastic about documentaries is that they’re like a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world. I’ve always dreamed of walking along the Great Wall of China, exploring the rain forests in South America, and riding a camel near the Egyptian pyramids. Thanks to documentaries, I’ve learned more about those places and what I can do there.

Some people don’t think that documentaries are as entertaining as other kinds of TV shows and movies, but I like them. I am thankful for the way they have expanded my world.

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