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Foreign Films

Foreign Films

Date: Oct 04 2006


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

The concept of the foreign film may be an American one. Most countries in the world are used to seeing American movies, and are familiar with many English-speaking actors. But many Americans rarely watch movies that are made in other countries and in other languages. Because movies from other countries tend to be the exception, we call them foreign films. But in other countries where it is more common to watch foreign films, movies are just movies.

There are great films made all over the world. Wim Wenders is from Germany and Ang Lee is from Taiwan. Some French actors, like Juliette Binoche, speak English and also star in American films.

Both Emily and Kevin love to watch foreign films. Listen as they talk about some of their favorites.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Emily:  Have you ever seen Motorcycle Diaries?

Kevin:  I have. It’s really good.

Emily:  I really… I really like, um, the actor who’s in that, Gael Garcia Bernal.

Kevin:  He’s cute.

Emily:  I’ve seen quite a few of his movies. He is very, very cute. Except in that one movie… Uh, Bad… Bad…

Kevin:  Bad Education.

Emily:  Bad Education! He’s really creepy in that movie.

Kevin:  A little bit creepy. But it’s a good movie. Um, actu…

Emily:  I thought he…

Kevin:  Sorry. Actually last week I showed… because I teach Spanish at the University, I showed Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which is the same director as Bad Education, Pedro Almodovar, and I’ve never seen a movie of his that I didn’t like. You know, All About My Mother, um, Talk To Her, just great movies.

Emily:  Yeah, um, that movie’s weird too, Talk To Her.

Kevin:  Uh huh. I think it’s interesting… I’ve read statistics that say that at any time, around the world, 80 per cent of the movies showing on screens are from Hollywood.

Emily:  Hmm.

Kevin:  Now, of course we know that, like, India… Bollywood produces more movies but they get less, um, screen, you know, they have less of a screen presence, and I think that’s really amazing. Like, the United States really dominates the film world.

Emily:  Do you watch… When you watch foreign films, do you watch it with subtitles or dubbed?

Kevin:  I prefer them with subtitles. I don’t like to hear…

Emily:  Me too.

Kevin:  ... I don’t like them dubbed. Um, but in some countries, like when I lived in Spain, like, they’re all dubbed, so you can’t see a movie…

Emily:  Yeah, they do that a lot with TV shows as well.

Kevin:  Yes.



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Emily and Kevin are both fans of Gael Garcia Bernal.

Kevin says “Sorry” because he and Emily both started speaking at the same time. He could have also said “Excuse me.” This is a way to be polite when you have interrupted someone.

Kevin likes the Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.

Kevin points out that Hollywood films dominate cinemas all over the world, even though Bollywood produces more films.

Emily and Kevin both prefer to watch subtitled films over dubbed ones.

Do you watch a lot of movies that are in languages different from your own?


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