Of Those Bonfires, Only the Ashes Remain

She was a great twentieth-century beauty. What she lacked in acting skills, she made up in personality, which she had in formidable excess. She didn’t have a powerful voice, but she did have a style all her own, which is more than one can say of many, much more talented, singers. Her films weren’t anything special, they were all pretty much the same, but, because she had star quality, they were entertaining and highly watchable. Like Norma Desmond said, ‘They don’t make faces like that anymore.’ Here she is in La Bella Lola (1962), singing Puerta Cerrada. The angels must be having a ball in Heaven tonight.


10.07.07. Diary, Films, Music. Leave a comment.

We All Fall Down


A pocket full of posies;

Ashes! Ashes!

We all fall down.

Shoot! They’re dropping dead so quickly, one after another, those icons of my youth, it’s scary and ever so depressing. In loving memory of Japanese filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, here goes a Cloze for NA2 students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Cloze Tests, Films, Force-Feeding, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

Writing a Film Review

Ask yourself the following questions before writing a film review:

  1. What genre does the film belong to (comedy, romance, thriller, western, etc.)?
  2. Who directed it?
  3. Who stars in it?
  4. When was it released?
  5. When and where is it set?
  6. Who are the main characters?
  7. What is it about?
  8. Which is the most memorable scene?
  9. Which are its best features (acting, art direction, casting, costumes, direction, editing, make-up, photography, script, special effects, soundtrack, etc.)?
  10. Who does the film appeal to?

Now read Antonio’s review of Erich Von Stroheim’s unfinished masterpiece Queen Kelly, which is by and large considered to be his last film, and see if those ten questions have been answered. After that, choose a film and, following the outline above, write your own review. For NB2 students.


10.07.07. Basic, Composition Topics, Films, Force-Feeding. Leave a comment.

A Minor Operation

One of Antonio’s students showed an interest in car-boot sales, so I got to work and produced this gapped oral text. If you are a CEFR B2 student willing to test your listening skills and learn some new vocabulary, all you need is a copy of Episode 19, Season 3, of the Hetty Wainthropp Investigates TV series and you are all set.




10.07.07. Advanced, Films. Leave a comment.