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Date: Feb 18 2004


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.

Documentary films are different from most other films in that they’re factual, rather than fictional. They depict real events that happen to real people (and/or animals, plants, etc.). Two of the best recent documentaries are Winged Migration and My Architect.
Winged Migration is a series of journeys around the world with migratory birds. As the seasons and the climates change, different groups of birds travel through an assortment of beautiful countries and places. 
My Architect is a tale of love and art, betrayal and forgiveness – in which the illegitimate son of a legendary artist undertakes a five year, worldwide exploration to understand his long-dead father.
Listen in to Beth and Miguel’s conversation to learn more!


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.





Miguel:  Hey Beth, have you seen Winged Migration?

Beth:  It’s funny that you ask that, because I tried to rent the video not too long ago and I think I was just so tired, but I fell asleep right at the opening scene.

Miguel:  Really? You were that bored that quick? Or you were just really tired?

Beth:  I think I was just really tired, because when I rented the video I was so excited because I heard such great things about the cinematography and the film and I just, I was so disappointed, because I didn’t make it past, literally, the main opening shot.

Miguel:  That’s really funny. Well, I guess you don’t really have any advice for me on whether or not I should see it, but I’ll probably check it out anyway. Another movie I wanted to ask you about is My Architect. Have you ever heard of that?

Beth:  No. I haven’t heard anything about it.

Miguel:  Well, it’s a documentary about architecture in general, but also about this really famous architect named Louis Kahn. And his son apparently has made a movie about him. So, I want to see it, but I don’t know anything about it really. I don’t know anyone who’s seen it yet.

Beth:  That sounds really cool. Is it based on, well is Louis Kahn a American designer?

Miguel:  Um, yeah, he’s American. And I think he was born sometime before 1900, so he, he’s done a lot of famous buildings, but I think he also had a really interesting personal life and that’s what makes the movie good. And I think it’s been nominated for, you know, an Oscar[/def] for Best Documentary, so it must be really good.

Beth:  Cool. I want to check it out now.



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I haven’t had the chance to see either Winged Migration or My Architect, but I certainly want to. I’m a big fan of documentary film, because the stories are true – and that makes them even more interesting than fictional films.
Some of my favorite documentaries are Hoop Dreams, which is about some young basketball players, Microcosmos, which is about bugs and When We Were Kings, the story of Muhammad Ali’s rise to greatness.
See you at the movies!


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