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September 12, 2005

Talking about movies (Part 1)

moviesmall.jpgThe students in my English classes come from a range of backgrounds and often have very different interests. Some are engineers, others work in advertising. There are teenagers hoping to improve their English so that they will get into a good university and there older students wanting to retire overseas. But most have one thing in common:

They all like the movies.

Whether it is going to the movies on a Saturday afternoon with their kids, sitting on the sofa in front of a DVD or perhaps catching a late-night re-run of some samurai classic, just about all of my students enjoy seeing films.

For this reason, I thought I'd introduce some expressions you can use when talking about movies.

Read the story and try to answer the following questions (the answers are at the bottom of this post):

1) What kind of film did he see?
2) Did he enjoy it?
3) Who was the main actor?
4) Did he find the story amusing?
5) Was the story very believable?

I'm a big fan of sci-fi, especially those big special effect films. Last week I saw that new one with Harry Hunter..."Forgotten Tomorrow". Have you seen it? It was great - much better than his other movies. Its about this group of teenagers who build a time machine and then travel far into the future. Sure, the plot is a bit far-fetched, but its a good popcorn film. I especially liked the part where Hunter's character had to eat dinner with the alien ambassador... so funny!

There are many different types of movies, and (like books, music and theatre) these are sometimes referred to as genres. Some of the most popular movie genres are:

  • Science fiction: time travel, space travel, robots...
  • Romantic comedies: love + comedy
  • Historical epics: men with beards fighting to be king, sea battles...
  • Heist films: a bank robbery that usually goes horribly wrong...
  • Gangster films: mobsters, crime families...
  • Westerns: gunfighters in the wild west...
  • Samurai films: Japanese warriors, swordplay...
  • Whodunit: who is the real killer?
  • Fantasies: children on broomsticks, magical slippers...
  • Horror movies: ghosts, vampires, monsters...

Of course not every kind of film fits neatly into a genre. Some filmmakers try to bend the rules of a genre (conventions) to make their movie more interesting.

What kind of films do you like? Does your favourite film belong to a genre?

Answers 1) A science fiction film; 2) Yes; 3) Harry Hunter; 4) Yes, particularly the scene with the alien ambassador; 5) No, it wasn't believable. The story was too far-fetched.

Posted by Marcus at September 12, 2005 11:47 PM

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» Talking about movies (Part 2) from bylingo.com
Last week we talked about different kinds of films and I introduced some expressions used to describe them in English. This week, I want suggest some phrases for giving opinions: Saying you like a movie Wasn't that a great movie?... [Read More]

Tracked on September 26, 2005 1:12 PM

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