Topic: Film B2.2 – C2.2: Reading, writing and vocabulary – The top films of 2010

The top films of 2010

i)  What were your favourite films of 2010?  The Social NetworkToy Story III?, A Prophet?  Compare your ideas to the editorial team at Total Film by clicking this link:  The top films of 2010 – totalfilm.com

ii)  How many of the films have you seen?  Which of the top 10 lists did you agree with most?  Are there any descriptions of the films that make you want to see any of them?

iii)  Vocabulary and writing:

Here are some questions about some vocabulary in the texts about the writers’ favourite films of 2010:

a)  On the first page A Social Network is described as ‘a timeless tale.’  What do you think the writer means?  a)  the story is not set in a specific period of time?  b)  the story will always be relevant?  c)  the film is very long?

b)   On the second page the writer describes Somewhere as ‘evocative,this means that the film transports you to another time and place.  Can you think of a particular film you know well which you’d describe as evocative?  Write a short text of no more than 50 words explaining why you chose the film you did.  Example text: 

I have chosen two films that take me back to my childhood when I watch them.  I never had experiences as exciting as the ones the characters in The Goonies and Son of Rambow have but for me, both movies capture the freedom of the summer holidays when I was growing up.  They evoke memories of getting together with friends, jumping on bikes and going of on an adventure where we were free from school and parents and could let our imaginations run wild.

c)  Find two nouns on page 4 that the writer uses to talk about how one elements of Toy Story 3 is sadness mixed with pleasure making the audience sympathetic towards the characters.

d)  What does the reviewer of Buried in page 5 mean by the adjective ‘gripping’ and the expression ‘I was on the edge of my seat’?

e)  In page 6 the writer describes The Road as a film which ‘stays…close to the novel.’  Films which take their story from novels are called literary adaptations.  Film critics often refer to how similar the film plot is to the novel using some of the expressions below.  Decide whether the sentences below mean that the film version is very similar or different to the novel.

The film version…

The movie…

The screen adaptation…

The movie plot…

…is very faithful to… …the original novel.
…strays away from…
…bears little resemblance to…
…stays close to…
…is unrecognisable from…
…is nothing like…
…is only loosely based on…
…takes liberties with the story of…

 If you are interested in the process of adapting a book for the cinema here are some articles you might be interested in:

Screenwriter Deborah Moggach Don’t lose the plot (guardian.co.uk)

25 best book to film adaptations – (telegraph.co.uk)

Writing:  Write a short review (about 100 words) of a film which was based on a novel you have read.  Did you prefer the book or the film?

f)  In page 7 the writer of the list chose Toy Story 3 as her favourite film because she loved the part when the character Buzz Lightyear became Spanish.  If you have seen the film, did you have any problem with the representation of this character as Spanish?  If you have any ideas on this, compare them to those of the writer of the blog on this link.

Answers to vocabulary questions:

a)  (b) is the best definition of a timeless tale.

c)  pathos and nostalgia.

d)  These expressions give us the idea that the film is full of tension.  The audience is very caught up in the action of the film because they become very involved in the story.

e)  The book is similar to the novel:  is very faithful to / stays close to  The book is different to the novel:  strays away from / bears little resemblance to / is unrecognisable from / is nothing like / is only loosely based on / takes liberties with the story.

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