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'Vertigo' Named Best Movie Ever (2nd August, 2012)


 

Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller Vertigo has been named as the best movie of all time by the British Film Institute (BFI). The 1958 film replaced Orson Welles' movie Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time, a position it had held for an incredible 50 years. The BFI poll has taken place once every ten years since 1962. Its panel is made up of 846 international film critics, movie directors, academics and writers. They voted for 2,045 different movies in this decade's survey. Nick James, a BFI spokesman, said the voting "seems to be not so much about films that…use cinema's entire arsenal of effects to make a grand statement, but more about works that have personal meaning to the critic".

Hitchcock called Vertigo his most personal. It is about a retired police detective suffering from acrophobia (a fear of heights) who is hired as a private investigator to follow the wife of a close friend to find out the reasons for her bizarre behaviour. The film received mixed reviews upon its initial release, but has gone on to amass considerable acclaim over the decades. The BFI said: "Vertigo is the ultimate critics' film because it is a dreamlike film about people who are not sure who they are but who are busy reconstructing themselves and each other to fit a kind of cinema ideal of the ideal soul mate." A separate poll of 358 international film directors chose Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953) as its greatest ever movie.

WARM-UPS

1. BEST EVER MOVIES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about the best ever movies. Change partners often. Share your findings with your first partner.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

psychological / thriller / incredible / 50 years / film critics / survey / effects / personal / police detective / fear of heights / bizarre behavior / initial release / soul mate

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. FILMMAKING: What do you know about these aspects of filmmaking? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often to share your ideas.

 

What I know

Good examples of this

Directing

 

 

Special effects

 

 

Stunts

 

 

Editing

 

 

Casting

 

 

Marketing

 

 

4. OLDIES: Students A strongly believe the old films are best; Students B strongly believe the latest films are better.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. GENRES: Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • thrillers
  • science fiction
  • animation
  • romance
  • horror
  • action
  • fantasy
  • war

6. PSYCHOLOGICAL: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'psychological'. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

The American Film Institute named Vertigo as the best movie ever.

T / F

b.

An Orson Welles movie was top of a "best movie" list for 50 years.

T / F

c.

2,045 movie critics voted for 846 international movies.

T / F

d.

The movie critics weren't too concerned about special effects.

T / F

e.

Alfred Hitchcock said Vertigo was one of his least favourite films.

T / F

f.

Vertigo was an instant hit with critics upon its release in 1958.

T / F

g.

A film institute called Vertigo a dreamlike film.

T / F

h.

A Japanese movie was voted the best film ever by a group of directors.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

psychological

a.

unbelievable

2.

replaced

b.

greatest

3.

incredible

c.

complete

4.

poll

d.

odd

5.

entire

e.

emotional

6.

suffering from

f.

sizable

7.

bizarre

g.

took over from

8.

considerable

h.

perfect partner

9.

ultimate

i.

survey

10.

soul mate

j.

afflicted with

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

psychological

a.

meaning to the critic

2.

a position it had held

b.

reviews

3.

846 international

c.

acrophobia

4.

cinema's entire arsenal

d.

mate

5.

works that have personal

e.

for an incredible 50 years

6.

suffering from

f.

of effects

7.

a fear

g.

thriller

8.

The film received mixed

h.

of heights

9.

Vertigo is the

i.

film critics

10.

the ideal soul

j.

ultimate critics' film


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Alfred Hitchcock's psychological (1) ____________ Vertigo has been named as the best movie of all time by the British Film Institute (BFI). The 1958 film (2) ____________ Orson Welles' movie Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time, a                 (3) ____________ it had held for an (4) ____________ 50 years. The BFI poll has taken place once every ten years since 1962. Its panel is (5) ____________ up of 846 international film critics, movie directors, academics and writers. They voted for 2,045 different movies in this decade's (6) ____________. Nick James, a BFI spokesman, said the voting "seems to be not so much about films that…use cinema's (7) ____________ arsenal of effects to make a grand statement, but more about works that have         (8) ____________ meaning to the critic".

 

 

 

entire
position
made
thriller
personal
replaced
incredible
survey

Hitchcock called Vertigo his most (9) ____________. It is about a retired police detective suffering from acrophobia (a fear of      (10) ____________) who is hired as a private investigator to follow the wife of a close friend to find out the reasons for her  (11) ____________ behaviour. The film received mixed reviews upon its (12) ____________ release, but has gone on to amass considerable (13) ____________ over the decades. The BFI said: "Vertigo is the (14) ____________ critics' film because it is a dreamlike film about people who are not sure who they are but who are busy reconstructing themselves and each other to      (15) ____________ a kind of cinema ideal of the ideal            (16) ____________ mate." A separate poll of 358 international film directors chose Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953) as its greatest ever movie.

 

 

acclaim
bizarre
personal
fit
heights
soul
initial
ultimate

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller Vertigo (1) ____________________ the best movie of all time by the British Film Institute (BFI). The 1958 film replaced Orson Welles' movie Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time, a position it had (2) ____________________ 50 years. The BFI poll has taken place once every ten years since 1962. (3) ____________________ of 846 international film critics, movie directors, (4) ____________________. They voted for 2,045 different movies in this decade's survey. Nick James, a BFI spokesman, said the voting "seems to be not so much about films that…use cinema's (5) ____________________ to make a grand statement, but more about works that (6) ____________________ to the critic".

Hitchcock called Vertigo his most personal. It is about a retired police       (7) ____________________ acrophobia (a fear of heights) who is hired as a private investigator to follow the wife of a close friend                              (8) ____________________ for her bizarre behaviour. The film received mixed reviews (9) ____________________, but has gone on to amass considerable acclaim over the decades. The BFI said: "Vertigo is                 (10) ____________________ because it is a dreamlike film about people who are not sure who they are but who are busy reconstructing themselves and each (11) ____________________ cinema ideal of the ideal soul mate." (12) ____________________ international film directors chose Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953) as its greatest ever movie.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'movie' and 'film'.

movie

film

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • named
  • replaced
  • poll
  • panel
  • survey
  • works
  • suffering
  • close
  • mixed
  • ultimate
  • soul
  • 358

BEST EVER MOVIES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about best ever movies in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.


 
 

MOVIES DISCUSSION

STUDENT A's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word 'movie'?

c)

Do you prefer the word movie or film?

d)

Why is a movie called a movie?

e)

What do you think of a 1958 film being named the best ever?

f)

What movie do you think is the best ever?

g)

Do you think old movies can be better than today's movies that are full of special effects?

h)

What do you think of Citizen Kane being number one for 50 years?

i)

Do film critics look at movies differently to the rest of us?

j)

Is "personal meaning" a good thing to base a choice of best movie on?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Were movies of the fifties and sixties more artistic than those of today?

c)

What would life as a movie critic be like?

d)

Do you have any phobias (fears)?

e)

What movie would you like to be a star in (and why)?

f)

What do you think of "best-ever-movies" lists?

g)

Are American films the best?

h)

What three things make a great movie?

i)

How important are movies in your life?

j)

What questions would you like to ask BFI spokesman Nick James?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Alfred Hitchcock's psychological (1) ____ Vertigo has been named as the best movie of all time by the British Film Institute (BFI). The 1958 film replaced Orson Welles' movie Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time, a position it had         (2) ____ for an incredible 50 years. The BFI (3) ____ has taken place once every ten years since 1962. Its panel is made (4) ____ of 846 international film critics, movie directors, academics and writers. They voted for 2,045 different movies in this decade's survey. Nick James, a BFI spokesman, said the voting "seems to be not so much about films that…use cinema's entire arsenal of (5) ____ to make a grand statement, but more about (6) ____ that have personal meaning to the critic".

Hitchcock called Vertigo his most personal. It is about a retired police detective suffering (7) ____ acrophobia (a fear of (8) ____) who is hired as a private investigator to follow the wife of a close friend to find out the reasons for her bizarre behaviour. The film received (9) ____ reviews upon its initial release, but has gone on to amass (10) ____ acclaim over the decades. The BFI said: "Vertigo is the ultimate critics' film because it is a dreamlike film about people who are not sure who they are but who are busy reconstructing (11) ____ and each other to fit a kind of cinema ideal of the ideal soul mate." A (12) ____ poll of 358 international film directors chose Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953) as its greatest ever movie.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

thrills

(b)

thrilled

(c)

thrilling

(d)

thriller

2.

(a)

been

(b)

held

(c)

done

(d)

given

3.

(a)

poll

(b)

will

(c)

till

(d)

hall

4.

(a)

on

(b)

down

(c)

up

(d)

as

5.

(a)

affects

(b)

efforts

(c)

effects

(d)

affairs

6.

(a)

labors

(b)

works

(c)

toils

(d)

output

7.

(a)

from

(b)

of

(c)

by

(d)

as

8.

(a)

heightens

(b)

highs

(c)

ups

(d)

heights

9.

(a)

blended

(b)

mixed

(c)

jumbled

(d)

combined

10.

(a)

considers

(b)

considering

(c)

consideration

(d)

considerable

11.

(a)

the others

(b)

all

(c)

themselves

(d)

ourselves

12.

(a)

separate

(b)

unconnected

(c)

divorced

(d)

set apart


 
 

WRITING

Write about the best ever movies for 10 minutes. Correct your partner's paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the best ever movies. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. BEST EVER MOVIES: Make a poster about the best ever movies. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. MOVIES: Write a magazine article about movies. Include imaginary interviews with a top director and an actor.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a top movie critic. Ask him/her three questions about the best ever movies. Tell him/her three of your favourite films. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

psychological

a.

emotional

2.

replaced

b.

took over from

3.

incredible

c.

unbelievable

4.

poll

d.

survey

5.

entire

e.

complete

6.

suffering from

f.

afflicted with

7.

bizarre

g.

odd

8.

considerable

h.

sizable

9.

ultimate

i.

greatest

10.

soul mate

j.

perfect partner

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

psychological

a.

thriller

2.

a position it had held

b.

for an incredible 50 years

3.

846 international

c.

film critics

4.

cinema's entire arsenal

d.

of effects

5.

works that have personal

e.

meaning to the critic

6.

suffering from

f.

acrophobia

7.

a fear

g.

of heights

8.

The film received mixed

h.

reviews

9.

Vertigo is the

i.

ultimate critics' film

10.

the ideal soul

j.

mate

GAP FILL:

'Vertigo' named best movie ever

Alfred Hitchcock's psychological (1) thriller Vertigo has been named as the best movie of all time by the British Film Institute (BFI). The 1958 film (2) replaced Orson Welles' movie Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time, a (3) position it had held for an (4) incredible 50 years. The BFI poll has taken place once every ten years since 1962. Its panel is (5) made up of 846 international film critics, movie directors, academics and writers. They voted for 2,045 different movies in this decade's (6) survey. Nick James, a BFI spokesman, said the voting "seems to be not so much about films that…use cinema's (7) entire arsenal of effects to make a grand statement, but more about works that have (8) personal meaning to the critic".

Hitchcock called Vertigo his most (9) personal. It is about a retired police detective suffering from acrophobia (a fear of (10) heights) who is hired as a private investigator to follow the wife of a close friend to find out the reasons for her (11) bizarre behaviour. The film received mixed reviews upon its (12) initial release, but has gone on to amass considerable (13) acclaim over the decades. The BFI said: "Vertigo is the (14) ultimate critics' film because it is a dreamlike film about people who are not sure who they are but who are busy reconstructing themselves and each other to (15) fit a kind of cinema ideal of the ideal (16) soul mate." A separate poll of 358 international film directors chose Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953) as its greatest ever movie.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

 

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