Louis de Funès was a very popular French comic actor who was a household name in several countries of Europe (Czechoslovakia, Germany, Spain, Turkey and the USSR in particular) for many years, yet remained almost unknown in the English-speaking world. One of his most famous roles was as Le gendarme de Saint-Tropez. The first film led to a series of six 'Gendarme' films, and this clip is from the second, Le gendarme à New-York, in which the gendarmes of St Tropez are chosen to represent France at an international 'gendarmerie' conference in New York. In this scene Cruchot (de Funès) prepares his brigade for the trip by giving them an English lesson.
COMMENT Any similarity with English lessons at the EM Normandie is purely coincidental. For a start, my students don't wear uniforms ...
Hollywood icon and American actress Lauren Bacall died Tuesday at the age of 89. According to TMZ, the iconic actress died from what a family member described as a massive stroke in her home. The Humphrey Bogart Estate shared the sad news on Twitter, saying: "With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall." Bacall was married to Humphrey Bogart, who she had shared the silver screen with in movies such as her debut film "To Have and Have Not" and "Key Largo". Full transcript >>
A dinner-jacketed, blood-spattered President Assad is shown holding a gun-toting Oscar statuette as he gives his acceptance speech. The election has been rejected as farce and a political stunt by activists and Western politicians who say it is designed solely to bolster Assad's beleaguered regime. We may safely assume, therefore, that the Syrian dictator's thanks are meant to be taken ironically.
LANGUAGE Note that in English you thank someone for doing something. • She thanked him for giving her a lift to the station.
Movie star Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79. The actress had been plagued with health problems throughout her life, and her death comes after a long bout with heart disease. View transcript >>
This short Oscar Opening film featuring Academy Awards co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco is very well done (it helps if you've seen the movies!). You can watch more Oscar shorts on the official Oscar site (click on 'Browse').
Movieclips was one of TIME Magazine's 50 Best Websites of 2010, and it's easy to see why. With more than 12,000 film snippets, Movieclips has one of the most comprehensive collections available on the Web. You can search by film title, character name, actor, genre, occasion, action, mood, character, theme, setting, prop, and even dialogue. Watch the intro video.
COMMENT I use a lot of movie clips in my lessons, and Movieclips is a great way of discovering films which are worth buying for that killer clip. For instance, I use this clip from The Devil Wears Prada for a lesson on job interviews. The only thing missing from Movieclips is the subtitles, which is why I prefer to buy the DVD for use in class. If you're a teacher, what are your favourite teaching clips?
The charities that backed this Richard Curtis mini-movie for the 10:10 environmental campaign said that they were "absolutely appalled" when they saw the director's four-minute short, which was taken off the 10:10 website amid a storm of protest. I can well understand their reaction. You can make a good case for blowing up David 'Because I'm Worth It' Ginola—but schoolchildren? What were they thinking?!
LESSON IDEA Get students to brainstorm ideas for reducing their carbon footprint—but don't be tempted to blow them to bits if they don't participate.
COMMENT Joking apart, this film seems to me like a really bad idea. At a time when the UK's terror threat rating remains at severe, you can't help but make the connection with suicide bombers. And I also resent the underlying message of the film, which seems to be that if you are not an active climate change reductionist, you deserve to be blown up. I think climate change sceptics deserve a bit more respect, even if they are wrong. What happened to intelligent debate?
TRANSCRIPT TEACHER: Right kids, just before you go, there’s a brilliant idea in the air that I’d like to run by you. Now, it’s called 10:10 and the idea is that everyone starts cutting their carbon emissions by ten per cent, thus keeping the planet safe for everyone eventually. Now, this hasn’t got to be a huge thing, but I would love it if you and your families would think about doing something.
PUPIL 1: What sort of thing, miss?
TEACHER: Well, like getting your dad to insulate the loft, or taking your next holiday by train instead of flying, or buying energy-saving light bulbs.
PUPIL 2: We’re thinking of using our car less. I’m going to cycle to school.
TEACHER: That’s fantastic, Jemima. Now, no pressure at all, but it’d be great to get a sense of how many of you might to this, just a rough percentage. That’s fantastic. And those not? Philip and Tracy. That’s fine, absolutely fine. Your own choice. OK class, thank you so much for today, and I will see you all tomorrow. Oh, just before you go. I just need to press this little button here. Now everybody please remember to read chapters five and six on volcanoes and glaciations, except for Philip and Tracy, of course.
MANAGER: Right, just want to check on that 10:10 thing. Um, had some brilliant ideas from lots of you, how the firm can cut down emissions by ten per cent. Just quick show of hands, everyone who want to get involved. Great, that’s nearly everybody. And, yeah, just for the record, no pressure, those who aren’t quite convinced by that yet? Cool. It’s no problem. Your choice. OK, so those of you planning something here or at home should probably get working on it, um, oh gorgeous, and those of you who aren’t. Excellent. Have a great weekend everyone.
DAVID GINOLA: Well, hello everyone. It’s great to be back here at Spurs. So many happy memories for me. Anyway, tell me something, what is this 10:10 thing the club is doing?
TRAINER: Well, it means that we’re trying to cut our carbon emissions by ten per cent this year. And Tottenham Hotspur Football Club was the first to sign up.
PLAYER 1: We’ve changed the floodlights at White Hart Lane, so they’re low energy.
PLAYER 2: Lots of our fans are coming to matches on buses, trains, and bikes and stuff rather than coming by car.
DAVID GINOLA: I see. Whatever. I wouldn’t do it. It seems like distraction from football to me.
TRAINER: That’s just fine, David. You don’t have to join in. Just ignore it. No pressure. (Presses button) Right lads, let’s do some penalties.
VOICEOVER: 10:10. Hundreds of thousands of people. Schools, businesses, hospitals, knitting circles, scout troops, presidents and governments all tackling climate change in more than 40 countries. Care to join us? No pressure.
GILLIAN ANDERSON: Was that OK?
TECHNICIAN: It sounded great to me. Thanks Gillian.
GILLIAN ANDERSON: Happy to help.
TECHNICIAN: So, what are you thinking of doing for 10:10 yourself?
GILLIAN ANDERSON: What, are you kidding me? I thought that by doing this voiceover that was my contribution.
Today, we're excited to announce the launch of “Life in a Day,” a historic cinematic experiment that will attempt to do just that: document one day, as seen through the eyes of people around the world. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a snapshot of your life on camera. You can film the ordinary -- a sunrise, the commute to work, a neighborhood soccer match, or the extraordinary -- a baby’s first steps, your reaction to the passing of a loved one, or even a marriage. Read more >>
COMMENTS 1. Sounds like a good idea for a class project (if you're not on holiday!) 2. In case you're wondering, the music is Cousins by the excellent Vampire Weekend.
Yesterday evening I went to see A Single Man, the first film by fashion designer Tom Ford. Based on the eponymous novel by Christopher Isherwood, the movie stars Colin Firth as George Falconer, a gay British university professor living in Southern California in 1962. When his lover dies in a car crash, George is consumed by grief, and eventually decides life is no longer worth living.
WHAT I THOUGHT Colin Firth was nominated for an Oscar for this role. He deserved to win for his moving and ultimately life-affirming portrayal of a man who has lost his reason to carry on living. Despite the serious subject matter, the film is not without touches of humour. And, as you would expect from a fashion guru, it looks gorgeous. My only reservation concerns the rather contrived ending. All in all, an impressive debut from ex-Gucci boss Ford.