CAE Listening Practice Test 20 printable

CAE Listening Practice Test 20 Printable

Part 3

Interviewer: My guest today is the young film director Lauren Casio, whose first full-length feature film Hidden Valley Dreams has been well received critically, as well as achieving box office success. Lauren, was it always your ambition to be a film maker?
Lauren: I did media studies at college, actually, and had no great desire to go into filmmaking when I started. As part of the course, I made some short films, and on the strength of that, some of the staff suggested I went in that direction. I mean, they were extremely short, three-minute films, but they seemed to see some promise and encouraged me [15]. I wasn’t doing anything ground-breaking, but the fact that I was able to put images together and tell a story in a very economical way time-wise was something I think they responded to and wanted me to pursue. So after finishing that course I enrolled in film school, where I could concentrate on that.
Interviewer: I’ve heard some people saying: ‘Film school’s a waste of time, don’t bother with it’. What do you feel about that?
Lauren: There’s young people coming into film-making from commercials, videos, and television saying that, but what works for one person may not work for another, so perhaps they don’t need it. I had no family connections in the business, and no private means so, for me, being in an environment where the equipment was available and the help was freely given, that opened doors. The fact that people I was at school with are now making their way in the film world is also testimony to its value [16]. But I’m not saying it’s the only route.
Interviewer: But it’s taken you a long time to get from your first shorts to your first full-length feature film, hasn’t it?
Lauren: That was no accident really. I went through a process of making shorter films so that I could acquire some skills [17]. A lot of people get out of school, make one film, and want to make that leap into feature films. But invariably, they fall flat on their faces. Maybe some of them are ready to make the leap earlier; I knew I wasn’t. I wasn’t prepared to squander time and money doing something I hadn’t yet got the experience and expertise to carry off. I wasn’t short of offers, even financially attractive ones, but it wasn’t the right moment.
Interviewer: I think your women characters are very good, but I think your men characters are incredible.
Lauren: Thanks! But with all characters, trying to find some dimension in them is very important to me, whatever the gender. Certainly we see a lot of stereotypes in films, men and women – lookalike representations of a certain common perception. I’ve always wanted to create characters with a bit more to them than that [18]: people with a depth that might allow an audience to see a different side to their characters, but not by making them behave in unnatural ways. That just confuses the audience. So, my male characters are macho, sure, but there’s got to be a vulnerability there. That’s been a very conscious thing, and even the villains need to have a conscience.
Interviewer: So what about Hidden Valley Dreams?
Lauren: Well, though I can’t deny that I’m proud of it, there’s a lot of things I’d change if I were to make that film again [19]. I remember sitting one afternoon, and just writing it – the storyline – in about four or five hours. It seemed to be something that needed to come out. Writing for me has never been that easy since! Perhaps it was a dumb idea for me to go out and make a 1940s period film as my debut because the resources and the control I had over the environment – the logistics – were very limited. I tried a bunch of things… a social theme, but a story with a sense of humor. I just had a gut feeling that it would appeal, and it worked, but don’t ask me how!
Interviewer: And would you encourage kids who’d like to get into film-making?
Lauren: Why not? Actually, I get invited to talk occasionally at high schools. Although I have mixed feelings about the whole notion of being someone to look up to, of being a role model [20], I think it’s important for kids to see that the things that they’re aspiring to are doable – that we’re not giving them false dreams. If, through some conversation with myself, or anyone else who’s worked hard to get where they are, they can identify with the fact that I’m just some kid from an ordinary background like them, then that’s cool. I can’t pretend I’ll ever be a real superhero to those young people, but I try to do what I can.
Interviewer: Thank you Lauren, we have to leave it there.

Part 4

Speaker 1
I’m not particularly keen on flying, so when I toured Australia with a friend, we ended up taking a lot of long-distance trains. To keep within our tight budget, we’d catch night trains at unearthly hours to avoid the expense of booking into hotels [21]. So it was that we found ourselves dropping off to sleep at a station in the outback waiting for the early-morning train to Sydney. Obviously I’d never have done it if I’d been travelling alone, ‘cos I’d have felt at risk, but it seemed a safe enough place – and very clean. Anyway, there wasn’t much going on there, so at least it made the night go quickly! [26]

Speaker 2
I was working on a global product launch for my company, with reps attending from all over the world, so it had to run smoothly – quite stressful. Part of the event involved arranging corporate hospitality, and one option was having a foot massage. After all my hard work I decided to have one too, and then dozed off in the chair halfway through! [22] Luckily, they let me sleep while they finished the other guests! It should’ve been refreshing, but having slept sitting up I woke up with a stiff neck, and the pain lasted several days [27]. I must’ve been exhausted, though.

Speaker 3
I was in a long-distance yacht race, a personal challenge for me. We’d sailed nine days non-stop, all the time rushing around on deck, so as soon as we’d pulled into a harbour and moored up, we were so desperately tired that we got our heads down right there on deck for some sleep [23]. Bliss! But we awoke later to the sight of a huge, smelly vessel moored up beside us, and we quickly realised to our horror that our sleeping bags were damp from exposure to salt spray [28]. It said something about the state we were in that we were mistaken for the crew of the ship next door!

Speaker 4
I’d just finished university and had gone to visit some old friends. I remember one evening we went to see one of our favourite bands performing. I knew it’d be a long night of dancing and generally being on my feet, but for some reason I was already flagging soon after we arrived, so I thought I’d better take a rest [24]. And I actually managed to fall asleep on top of one of the speakers; goodness knows how! Anyway, I rather expected my friends would find it highly amusing but in fact they were quite sniffy and a bit embarrassed [29]; so I’ve decided they’re just not my friends anymore.

Speaker 5
My friends live out by quite a remote beach. Since we hadn’t seen each other for ages, we sat on the sands and talked until late. Then we lit a fire; and as the last bus had already left and we were some distance from the nearest town, and no one could be bothered to move anyway, we just all fell asleep right there [25]. The next morning, they told me people living there often did that at weekends, so I felt good that I’d had the chance to join in [30]. It made me wish I could do the same where I live; not very likely in my cold, wind-blown town, though.