LISTENING ACTIVITY THREE: An Interview with a film director

Film DirectorXiaolu Guo is a young and highly-successful Chinese writer and film-maker.

Click here to listen to a short interview in which she talks about learning English, and how she had fun trying to find the right kind of English for a character in her best-selling novel, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.

Are you worried about not understanding everything? No problem, the typescript is provided to help you improve your listening comprehension.

READING CHALLENGE FOUR: Film Genres: Navel-Gazers

tree of lifeI can’t stand predictable plots or films that are ‘navel gazing’. In my opinion the critically acclaimed film The Tree of Life was a navel gazer. I spent the entire 2 hours asking my mate when the film was going to start and at the same time thinking about how long it takes paint to dry.

Unfortunately my mate was far too busy trying to find all the popcorn he had dropped on his pants to worry about the film. The other 2 cinema goers were snoring on the front row. Hardly evidence for a satisfied audience! I’m sorry, I know I know nothing about films or life in general, but The Tree of Life, Brad Pitt or no Brad Pitt is just CRAP! I’m sure I’ll get letters, possibly my deportation papers but I don’t care, I can take it.

If you’ve seen it, what was with the dinosaurs? The dinosaurs are hardly role models for a better way of life, I mean come on, they are EXTINCT, KAPUT, NO MORE. Mr Profound Director, which part of ‘they didn’t make it’ don’t you get?!

If you want to know what I think about Science Fiction films, then click here

READING CHALLENGE THREE: Film Genres: Action Films

gi janeI love ‘kick ass’ action films and when I’m feeling pathetic I watch ‘GI Jane’ and then bounce around my flat pretending I can do a one armed press up ( the reality is I can’t do any press ups) and shouting: COME ON, I CAN TAKE YOU!

I know, PATHETIC!!

However, not as pathetic as me thinking I’m Harrison Ford in a Raider’s Film. If someone planted a video bug in my flat, they would definitely think that I needed medical attention or some psychiatric help. Either way, if drugs are involved, I’d definitely sign up.

READING CHALLENGE TWO: Film Genres: Horror Films

draculaHorror films make me jump under the bed and scream like a baby. And, if I watch a vampire film I have to go to bed with a bulb of garlic hanging around my neck and add to my shopping list, 1 silver bullet and 1 gun.

If you don’t know this, it’s worth jotting it down: Vampires are only stunned by garlic, but if you shoot them in the heart with a silver bullet, they drop dead. In my book, it’s best to go for the silver bullet, the smell of the garlic might not be strong enough to stun them, or maybe over the years they’ve developed a resistance to garlic, just like those malaria carrying mosquitoes.

So, the moral of the story is, bullets are stronger than garlic and if possible, go and make friends with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also, Buffy rocks!

To be as cool as a cucumber

‘To be as cool as a cucumber’ is an expression that means that a person can behave in a relaxed manner during difficult or stressful situations.  Unfortunately I am not as cool as a cucumber and more often than not I ‘freak out’ when I feel stressed.

Are you as cool as a cucumber or are you similar to me?  What was the last stressful situation you experienced?


Horror Movies

Don't look back!

What makes a great horror film?

The Halloween franchise has earned, worldwide, just under 367 million dollars.  That’s a lot of money!!!!

Truth be told, I hate horror films because I always have nightmares and I have to sleep with the light on for about 2 weeks afterwards.  This is not good for the environment or my electricity bill.

Are you a lover or a hater of this genre?

The Tower of London

The Tower of London is the oldest fortress, palace and prison of its type anywhere in Europe. With a long history of executions, murder and torture, ranging from hanging, beheading, to being hung, drawn and quartered, it is the perfect recipe for a haunted history.

It is no surprise that it ranks as one of the most haunted castles in Britain. Hundreds of ghost sightings have been reported in and around The Tower over the years. If you would like to hear 2 minutes of history about the Tower of London then click here.

Does anyone know of a haunted place in Málaga?