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  • Hi, I'm Daniel.

  • Welcome to Oxford Online English!

  • In this lesson, you can see how to talk about films in English.

  • What was the last film you saw?

  • What kind of film was it?

  • Did you like it or not?

  • In this lesson, you'll learn how to describe films and give your opinion about different

  • films that you've watched.

  • Don't forget that for more help with your English, you should check out our website:

  • Oxford Online English dot com.

  • We have many free English lessons to help you improve, and we also offer online lessons

  • with qualified, professional teachers.

  • But now, let's start with a question: what kind of films do you like?

  • Have you seen 'No Country for Old Men'?

  • No.

  • I've never even heard of it.

  • What kind of film is it?

  • I guess you'd call it a thriller, but it's also kind of a modern western, because a lot

  • of it takes place in the desert, or small-town America.

  • Is it scary?

  • I can't do scary.

  • You might not like it, then.

  • I can't watch anything violent, horror films, anything like that.

  • So what kind of thing are you into?

  • I like dramas, historical films, things like that.

  • I like stories that focus more on real people.

  • I also have a weakness for cheesy rom-coms occasionally.

  • What about you?

  • Yeah, I guess we have somewhat opposite tastes!

  • I'm a big fan of horror films, thrillers, and so on.

  • In the dialogue, you heard a lot of words for different kinds of films.

  • Do you remember any of the words we mentioned?

  • We'll give you a few seconds. Try to remember three.

  • You heard: 'thrillers,' 'horror films', 'westerns', 'dramas', 'historical

  • films' and 'rom-coms'.

  • A western is a film set in 19th century America, often featuring cowboys.

  • 'Rom-com' is a short form of 'romantic comedy'.

  • Can you think of any other kinds of film which we haven't mentioned?

  • Try to think of three more!

  • Any ideas?

  • Maybe you said 'action', 'comedy', 'cartoon', 'fantasy', 'musical'

  • or 'sci-fi'.

  • 'Sci-fi' is a short form of 'science fiction'.

  • Sci-fi films are set in the future, often in space, and usually feature very advanced

  • technology, like time travel.

  • The Star Wars films are probably some of the most famous sci-fi films.

  • Fantasy films often feature magic, dragons, monsters, and things like that.

  • The Lord of the Rings films are good examples of fantasy films.

  • Does your language have different words for 'fantasy' and 'sci-fi'?

  • Some languages don't; if this is true in your language, be careful with the difference!

  • If someone's talking about a film, and you want to know what kind of film it is, you

  • can ask: 'What kind of film is it?'

  • You could also say: 'What sort of film is it?'

  • To answer, you can just say: 'It's an action film'; 'It's a thriller'; 'It's

  • a comedy', and so on.

  • With some words, you need to say 'film' afterwards, like: 'action film', 'horror

  • film', 'historical film' or 'sci-fi film'.

  • With other words, you don't say 'film' afterwards, like: 'drama', 'thriller',

  • 'musical' or 'western'.

  • So, don't say: 'It's a thriller film'; just say, 'It's a thriller.'

  • If you want to ask someone about their taste in films, you can ask: 'What kind of films

  • do you like?'

  • Or: 'What kind of films are you into?'

  • Asking 'are you into' is a more conversational way to ask 'do you like'.

  • So, what kind of films are you into?

  • Can you answer this question with two to three sentences?

  • Pause the video and try it now!

  • Next, let's look at how you can introduce one film which you've seen, and tell someone

  • else about it.

  • I saw a great film last night!

  • I can't believe I didn't see it when it was on in the cinema.

  • Oh really?

  • What was it?

  • Blue Jasmine.

  • Do you know it?

  • Hmm

  • Sounds familiar.

  • Is that the Steven Spielberg film?

  • No, it was directed by Woody Allen.

  • No, I don't know it.

  • What kind of film is it?

  • I guess I'd call it a drama, but it's a bit of a black comedy, too.

  • Who's in it?

  • Cate Blanchett plays the main character.

  • I'm guessing that if it's a Woody Allen film, it's probably set in New York?

  • No, although the main character is a New Yorker.

  • Is it based on a book or anything?

  • I might be mistaken, but I think I read a book with a title like that.

  • No, I don't think so.

  • If you want to know more about a film which someone saw, what questions could you ask?

  • You might ask things like: 'Who was the director?'

  • 'Who's in it?'

  • 'Where's it set?'

  • Or: 'Is it based on a book?'

  • Do you know what the question 'Who's in it?' means?

  • This is asking about the actors.

  • It's a short way to ask 'Which actors are in the film?'

  • Think about a film which you know.

  • It could be something you saw recently, or maybe a film which you particularly like.

  • How would you answer these questions?

  • You could say: 'It was directed by Stanley Kubrick.'

  • In conversational English, you can also use the name as an adjective, like this: 'It's

  • a Stanley Kubrick film.'

  • To talk about actors, you might say 'It stars Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell.'

  • This sounds quite formal, so if you want to sound more informal, you can say 'Samuel

  • L. Jackson and Kurt Russell are in it.'

  • To say where and when the story takes place, you could say 'It's set in Paris in the

  • 1920s.'

  • Or: 'It's set in the near future, in an imaginary country which is ruled by corporations.'

  • Finally, if a film is an adaptation of something else, like a book or maybe a video game, you

  • can use the verb 'based on'.

  • For example: 'It's based on the book by Stephen King.'

  • OK, now it's your turn to talk!

  • Think about a film you know.

  • Use the language from this section to make two to three sentences to introduce the film

  • and give some basic information about it.

  • Pause the video and do it now.

  • How was that?

  • Remember that you can always review a section if you need more time to practise.

  • Let's look at our next point.

  • What are you watching?

  • Kung Fu Hustle.

  • Do you know it?

  • No

  • Haven't you watched this before?

  • Yes, many times!

  • It's one of my favourites.

  • It looks weird, almost like a cartoon.

  • Yeah, you could say that.

  • It's really original, but mostly it's just good fun.

  • You're not meant to take it too seriously.

  • Is it violent?

  • I can't watch violent films.

  • Kind of, but the violence is also quite cartoonish.

  • It has quite a touching storyline, too.

  • It's silly, but sweet at the same time.

  • Was it popular when it came out?

  • Yeah, I think so.

  • It got really good reviews, and I think it won some awards, too.

  • Want to sit and watch it together?

  • Sure!

  • If you enjoyed a film, you could use positive adjectives to describe it, like 'original',

  • 'good fun', 'touching' or 'sweet'.

  • 'Sweet' describes a film which makes you feel happy and warm.

  • Often, romantic films are sweet.

  • 'Touching' describes something which makes you feel strong emotions.

  • You can also say 'moving', which has a similar meaning.

  • If a film is 'touching' or 'moving', you'll probably be thinking about it for

  • some time after it finishes.

  • Can you think of any other positive adjectives you could use to describe a film which you

  • liked?

  • Try to think of three, and write them down.

  • Pause the video if you want more time.

  • Ready?

  • What did you get?

  • Of course, there are many possibilities, but here are some suggestions.

  • If a film really makes you think, or if it makes you see things in a new way, you could

  • describe it as 'thought-provoking.'

  • A film which has a realistic story and good acting could be described as 'believable.'

  • If a film is believable, you feel like you could be watching real people in a real situation.

  • A good comedy film could be 'hilarious'.

  • 'Hilarious' describes something which is extremely funny.

  • What else could you say about a film which you liked?

  • You might give some details or reasons as to why you liked it.

  • For example: 'The story was really interesting and original.'

  • 'The acting was amazingreally believable.'

  • 'It had great special effects and incredible action scenes.'

  • You could also mention what kind of reviews the film got, and whether it won any awards.

  • For example, 'It got really good reviews.'

  • 'It was nominated for eight Oscars.'

  • 'It won several awards at the Cannes festival.'

  • OK, now it's your turn.

  • Your job is to talk about a film you like.

  • Try to make three to four sentences describing the film and why you like it.

  • If the film won any awards or prizes, you could mention that, too!

  • Pause the video and make your answer now.

  • Here's a tip: it's always better to practise as much as possible.

  • So, if you really want to improve your English, don't just practise once, make several answers.

  • Say each answer out loud several times, to practise your pronunciation and fluency.

  • Ready?

  • Let's look at one more point.

  • How was the film?

  • Urggh...

  • Awful!

  • I wanted to walk out.

  • Why?

  • What was so bad about it?

  • Everything!

  • It was so slow and boring.

  • Plus, it was so predictable that I could even guess what they were going to say next.

  • That's surprising.

  • It got quite good reviews.

  • They must have seen a different film than I did.

  • Also, it was dubbed, and they only used two voice actors: one for the males, and one for

  • the females.

  • I never understand why they dub films like that.

  • Why not just use subtitles?

  • Yeah, I agree, but I guess people don't like reading.

  • Was it scary?

  • Not at all!

  • It was quite gory, but it was all done so badly that it wasn't believable at all.

  • The special effects looked like they were made on a laptop in twenty minutes.

  • That's a shame.

  • So, why did you stay to the end?

  • My friends didn't want to leave.

  • In the dialogue, you heard several adjectives to describe a film you don't like.

  • Can you remember any of them?

  • You heard: 'awful', 'slow', 'boring' and 'predictable'.

  • 'Slow' means that the story doesn't develop quickly, or that scenes in the film

  • go on for too long.

  • What other adjectives could you use to describe a film which you don't like?

  • You can also take positive adjectives and make them negative; for example: 'unoriginal'

  • or 'unbelievable'.

  • Can you think of a film which you didn't like?

  • Why didn't you like it?

  • As before, you should try to give reasons to explain why you didn't like something.

  • You could say something like: 'The lead actor was really bad; he was completely emotionless.'

  • 'The plot was stupid.

  • Nothing made any sense.'

  • 'It was completely unfunny.

  • No one in the whole cinema laughed once.'

  • Now, it's your chance to practise!

  • Think of a film which you saw which you didn't like.

  • Make two to three sentences to describe the film and say why you didn't like it.

  • Pause the video and say your sentences aloud now.

  • Finally, let's see how you can put all of this language together into a longer answer.

  • Your job is to make a longer answer using language from this lesson to talk about a

  • film which you've seen.

  • You need to say what kind of film it is, give some basic information about it, say if you

  • like or dislike it, and explain why.

  • Before you do that, let's do some examples together!

  • Here's one:

  • 'I'm going to tell you about the film Gravity, which is one of my favourite films

  • from the last few years.

  • It's kind of a sci-fi film, but it's set in the present day and it doesn't feature

  • aliens or anything like that, so you could say that it's more of a thriller.

  • It was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, and it stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as

  • two American astronauts.

  • Most of the story takes place in space, in orbit around the Earth.

  • I really like it because the visuals and the special effects are incredible; it's really

  • atmospheric, and it gives you a good sense of the loneliness and terror of being stranded

  • in space.