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  • English Converation Classes: Talking About the Film Black Swan

    Many students of mine have, or are about to, watch the movie Black Swan. Indeed, I saw the film myself recently, so it’s a good time to talk about the issues it raises, learn some new vocabulary and have an English conversation class:

    How you do imagine the life of a ballet dancer?

    Positive perspective

    Glamorous

    Well-traveled

    Rewarding

    Artistic

    Cultured

    Attractive

    Well paid (if successful)

    Negative perspective

    Demanding

    Tough

    Physically difficult

    Uncompromising

    Unrelenting

    Competitive

    Challenging

    Unpredictable

    Insular

    Badly paid (unless extremely successful)

    Discussion questions

    Have you ever been so dedicated to your work or a pass time that other elements of your life suffered?

    Do you agree that to achieve artistic excellence a certain amount of suffering is necessary?

    How would you define an excellent performance, on stage or on screen?

    Since we are talking about Black Swan, let’s watch an interview with the film’s director Darren Aronofsky and answer the questions that follow it.

    Why does Aronofsky say he was interested in capturing the ballet world on film?

    What does he mean by getting ‘behind the curtain’ of the ballet world?

    What training did Natalie Portman do for the film?

    Why does Aronofsky say she did such a good job in the film?

    What reasons does he give for using handheld cameras to film to movie?

    Aronofsky says the movie has two parts. What are these?

    How did the team decide on the look for the film?

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