Intensive Advanced 2

Friday, December 9, 2016

Advanced 2. Hollywood Icons

Click here, watch the video and fill in the blanks with one or two words. (Select to see the answers).
James Dean
James Dean's considered a Hollywood icon because he appeared in lots of films like 'East of Eden' and 'Rebel without a Cause' where he played a young, dangerous guy. Um, something that a lot of teenagers of the time wanted to be. He had fast cars and a leather jacket and lots of things that made him seem rebellious and dangerous. So, I think that that helped his popularity in those films. I think part of the reason that James Dean is considered a Hollywood icon is because he died young. Um, in his youth, he played lots of characters that were young and dangerous and rebellious. And because he died, we never saw him as an actor grow older and so, part of his mystery is that we've never seen what could've been. Would he have kept that rebellious nature all through his life or would he have gotten old and mellow through the ages? I don't know.
Elizabeth Taylor
The story of Elizabeth Taylor is an interesting one because she started out a child actress. And then she became an adult actress famous for her beauty and her beautiful eyes. Many people think that Cleopatra was her best film, but for me her greatest performance was in 'Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?' - Who's afraid of Virginia....?
She was the first movie star ever to be paid a million dollars for her role in a film. She's been married seven times. Sorry, I think that's eight times, to seven husbands!
Marilyn Monroe
The reason that I think Marilyn Monroe is a fantastic icon is um... that, even now, people are still, er... taking from her. People like Madonna, Kylie, you know. They were inspired by Marilyn Monroe. I think the best film that Marilyn Monroe did was 'Some Like It Hot' And she actually won a Golden Globe.
Everyone talks about Marilyn Monroe as…icon..., and of course, she was very beautiful, and had a very tragic existence, ...very, very brief... But my personal only experience of Marilyn Monroe has been watching 'Gentleman Prefer Blondes'. It was a very long time ago, so I'm not sure if I've got this right. But what I noticed about that film which I found really funny, was... umm, she had this way of just like going up to a guy, um, and saying like asking a really banal question in a very, very husky voice, um, and not, she would never stop moving her lips, even, even when she was not talking she would still move her lips. So she'd go up to someone , and she'd say 'Excuse me Sir ... Can I use the bathroom?' like this, and forever moving her lips, and I couldn't understand it. As a like a guy growing up in the twentieth century, it's the 21st century now, I don't understand how that works but it would leave all these guys in these films absolutely flabbergasted, and they'd go crazy and you know I'm sure back in the fifties, you know it was absolutely outrageous but now it's, I just find it funny.
Marlon Brando
I think Marlon Brando is such a fantastic actor and rightly called a Hollywood icon. Because of the range of roles that he's played. You know he's been in Hollywood since his teens and stayed there making great films all the way through to his fifties and his sixties. I suppose the first time I saw him was in The Godfather where he played Don Corleone who was the head of an Italian Mafia family based in New York and it was such a quiet and sinister role. He had this gentle serene look about him, but at the same time the words that were coming out of his mouth and the things that he would do were quite shocking. It was a very disturbing film to watch.

Well, the thing that struck me most about Marlon Brando was that when you watch a lot of his movies ...especially the ones made in the fifties, was when he started out, it's very striking, that often the other actors are very bad, they're very poor actors. I remember very distinctly, I think even 'Street Car Named Desire' , thinking 'wow this is really corny', and then the moment Brando steps onto the scene, it's 'Oh, now it seems natural.'

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Advanced 2. The Queen

Click here and enjoy.
If you want to read the script, click here.

Advanced 2: Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts.

Click here and listen to Lights-Camera-Jackson's reviews. Fill in the blanks with one or two words. (Select to see the answers).

Hi everybody! I’m Lights-Camera-Jackson. I look forward to checking out the Oscar nominated animated short films every year. And usually, within the group of five, there are at least one or two standouts. However, that’s not the case this year. Instead, we get a lineup that is universally weak in story and largely unimpressive.

‘Bear Story’ comes from Chile. It’s about a male bear who’s created a wind-up diorama of his tragic life with his wife and son. The soft animation works but the tale is slow and not nearly powerful enough.
The animation in ‘Prologue’ is hand-drawn pencil and paper from the legendary Richard Williams. That, itself, is quite an achievement. But the thin Athens vs. Sparta battle story of this 6-minute UK entry is so basic, and the outcome so meaningless, that it left me flat.

‘Sanjay Super Team’ comes from Pixar. It debuted in theaters with “The Good Dinosaur” back in November. It tells the mostly true story of little Sanjay, who prefers watching his favorite superhero TV show to doing his Hindu rituals with his father, but he uses his imagination to bring these two worlds together. I didn’t love this the first time I saw it, but I actually appreciate it more after the second viewing, and out of this group of five, it’s by far the most positive, commercial and effective.

‘We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” comes from Russia. The first half is largely committed as two life-long best friends go through rigorous training to qualify to become cosmonauts. There is a dramatic twist midway through, but I can’t say I was surprised by it or what happens next - and definitely not as emotionally invested as I wanted to be.

And finally there’s ‘World Of Tomorrow’, another US entry and the longest nominee at 17 minutes. It’s about a little girl named Emily who is contacted by a third-generation clone of herself, informing her of what’s gonna happen to society in the future. The sarcastic, quite dark humor is sharp, and this sci-fi satire does have a lot to say. But it could have been much stronger if it were shorter and tighter.

Overall, the official LCJ report card, the 2016 Oscar Nominated Short Film Animation gets a ‘C’ from my grades of each of these films and the four highly commended shorts that are also part of the programme. Go to and subscribe to my YouTube Channel and follow me on Twitter @LCTReviews.

Advanced 2. Film reviews

Listen and answer the questions. Click here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Newspaper article: Time to wake up!

I read this article in the Washington Post this morning and I felt like sharing it with you. Do you agree with the contents or not? If you want to give your opinion, please leave a comment. 
Article: Time to wake up! Spain's prime minister wants to end the siesta. Click here

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fools' Day: History and pranks

Watch these videos and enjoy. Click here and here.
And now a couple of hilarious pranks:
A Math class. Click here.
Universal Wi-Fi. Click here.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Saint Patrick's Day

Today is March 17! For the Irish this particular day is full of symbolism because they celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland. Click here if you want to know more about Saint Patrick's history.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Oscars: Chris Rock's opening monologue.

There has been a lot of talk about diversity in the film industry recently, especially as regards the 88th Academy Awards Ceremony. Many actors, for instance Will Smith and his wife, vowed to boycott the ceremony. Click here and watch Chris Rock, who hosted last night's edition, giving his opinion on the matter. You can also leave a comment below, if you are interested in the topic. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Advanced 1. Cities (London)

Have you ever been to London? If you want to know more about this fascinating city, click here and watch the video.