CAE Reading and Use of English Part 8
You are going to read about a certain genre of movies. For questions 47-56, choose from the sections of the article (A-D). The sections may be chosen more than once.
In which section does the writer…
47 praise the quality of some more serious films?
48 point out the value of feel-good films in difficult economic times?
49 mention a film character who learns from his experiences?
50 explain how a director uses a film as a vehicle for his own opinion?
51 comment on the artistic merit of the cinema?
52 talk about the importance of escapism in films?
53 mention a special technique used to create a feel good reaction?
54 insist that lighter films can also be clever?
55 talk about films that make us reflect on life?
56 refer to films where ordinary people triumph over authority?
Films that make you feel good
Feel-good films stretch back right into the early days of cinema. The Brits were pioneers of the form. Producer Cecil Hepworth’s Rescued By Rover (1905), a winsome yarn about a dog retrieving a kidnapped baby, was an early example of feel-good film-making. What distinguished it was the tempo. The film-makers used cross-cutting to crank up the tension, which is only finally released when the baby is found. The film “marks a key stage in the medium’s development from an amusing novelty to the ‘seventh art,’ able to hold its own alongside literature, theatre, painting, music and other more traditional forms,” claims the British Film Institute’s Screen online website. Film historians today continue to study Hepworth’s storytelling abilities but that wasn’t what interested the 1905 audiences who flocked to see it. They went because it was a feel-good film.
There has long been a tendency to sneer at feel-good films. Serious, self-conscious auteurs are often too busy trying to express their innermost feelings about art and politics to worry about keeping audiences happy. However, as Preston Sturges famously showed in his comedy Sullivan’s Travels(1941), if you’re stuck on a prison chain gang, you don’t necessarily want to watch Battleship Potemkin. Sullivan’s Travels is about John L Sullivan, a glib and successful young Hollywood director of comedies, who yearns to be taken seriously. Sullivan dresses up as a hobo and sets off across America to learn more about the plight of the common man. He ends up sentenced to six years in prison. One of the prisoners’ few escapes from drudgery is watching cartoons. As he sits among his fellow cons and sees their faces convulsed with laughter at a piece of what he regards as throwaway Disney animation, he rapidly revises his own priorities. “After I saw a couple of pictures put out by my fellow comedy directors, which seemed to have abandoned the fun in favour of the message, I wrote Sullivan’s Travels to satisfy an urge to tell them to leave the preaching to the preachers,” Sturges recalled.
A few years ago there were a lot of ‘deep-dish’ movies. We had films about guilt, (Atonement) about the all-American dream coming apart at the seams (Revolutionary Road) and even a very long account of a very long life backwards(the deeply morbid The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button). Deep-dish, feel-bad films have plenty to recommend them. If you’re not teenager and you don’t just want to see the next summer tent-pole blockbuster, you’ll welcome movies that pay attention to characterisation and dialogue and don’t just rely on CGI or the posturing of comic book heroes. However, as film-makers from Preston Sturges to Danny Boyle have discovered, there is no reason that a feel-good movie needs to be dumb. You can touch on social deprivation and political injustice: the trick is to do so lithely and, if possible, with a little leavening humour.
Historically, the best feel-good movies have often been made at the darkest times. The war years and their immediate aftermath saw the British turning out some invigorating, entertaining fare alongside all the propaganda. The Age of Austerity was also the age of the classic Ealing comedies, perfect examples of feel-good film-making. In the best of these films like Passport To Pimlico or Whisky Galore, a community of eccentric and mildly anarchic characters would invariably come together to thwart the big, bad, interfering bureaucrats. Stories about hiding away a hoard of whisky or setting up a nation state in central London were lapped up by the audiences. To really work, feel-good movies must have energy and spontaneity – a reckless quality that no amount of script tinkering from studio development executives can guarantee. The best take you by surprise. What makes the perfect feel-good movie? That remains as hard to quantify as ever – you only know one when you see one.
1 D — fragmentation. Fragmentation here means absence of link between members of society. This is an unusually difficult question, more apt for a CPE exam. You might want to read this wikipedia article on social fragmentation.
2 В — opt. Opt is the only verb here that collocated with ‘for’ preposition. To opt for means to choose preference for something.
З А — afford. Again, the only verb that collocates well with the immediate context.
4 С — take part in. The idea of the sentence is that single people want to get involved in various social activities.
5 В — factor. Factor is what influences their choice to be alone.
6 А — mark. A mark of success is an accepted collocation.
7 С — invest. The only verb here that can be used with ‘in’ preposition.
8 D — promote. The idea of the sentence is how individuals of any society help its development. To promote an economic growth is to help the society prosper financially.
9 is. It is clear that we need an auxiliary verb here.
10 what. What if presents a hypothetical (not real) situation.
11 less/other. Both words are acceptable here. Devalued means having its importance lowered or taken away completely.
12 instead. One action taking place instead of another one.
13 pay. To pay attention is to follow something, to be observant.
14 taken. Take matter into your hands is to take initiative.
15 by. The means of solving the problem is mentioned.
16 like. An example is given.
17 unresponsive. Used in conjunction with silent it supposed to have a similar negative meaning. Pay attention to use the right negative suffix.
18 contributions. It is important to use plural form as no certain contribution is implied.
19 fabrications. A fabrication is a fake, a made-up thing. This time we should use the plural form as there is a plural auxiliary verb ‘are’ before the word.
20 popularity. This one is pretty straightforward.
21 unappealing. The negative prefix is used because the previous part of the text talks of the phenomenon of fake followers as of something bad. However, some people can benefit from this practice because it can boost their popularity. So normally they would find it ‘unappealing’, but for the sake of success they choose NOT to see it as unappealing. A double negative construction is used.
22 desirable. Be attentive not to spell it wrong. Wrong spelling is counted as incorrect answer.
23 illegal. Make sure to use the right prefix.
24 unethical. Same as before, spelling is crucial.
25 have been living here for. The person still lives there so PPC is used.
26 no room for anything else. The word ‘room’ is used in the meaning of ‘free space’.
27 before have I seen. Inversion is used here for more dramatic effect.
28 was dismissive of. To be dismissive means to be unwilling to accept something, in this case — not wanting to accept or even consider the idea offered to her.
29 no circumstances must/can/should you. Another case of inversion for a more emphatic effect.
30 I take your point. To take one’s point is to understand why a person thinks or does so.
31 B. The answer is in the middle of third sentence, paragraph one: people doubt how they could be using the information they got on those motivational speech meetings.
32 A. The first sentence of paragraph two states that we need to find out the reason why some people try their best and others don’t. Simply put — the factors that affect motivation.
33 C. Last sentence of paragraph four contains the answer. It isn’t an obvious one, but after you rule out the rest of answers it remains to be the only one. Answer A is wrong — it is clearly stated that the successful people have to work harder that others. Nothing is said about talent playing a role in becoming successful. Answer D isn’t correct — all people learn at ‘identical rates’.
34 C. The author wants to reinforce the point by posing natural questions — why would people put effort if it doesn’t change anything. A talented person is going to be successful in any case, and one without a talent will lose no matter what.
35 A. Employees need to be encouraged in order to have their ambition reinforced. This is where their employer is advised to show the fruits of hard labour, to indicate the career pathway to the top.
36 A. It is important to understand ‘yank-and-rank’, because the meaning isn’t clear from the context. It is a system when a company ranks every employee against the other and terminates contract with those that seem worse in comparison. In the text, it says that this system makes the lower-ranking staff seem unable to learn, which is wrong. Thus, there is lack of attention to personal development of employees.
37 D. Reviewer A believes that a baby’s mind is well capable to analysing the happenings of everyday life, not simply ‘live through them’. Reviewer D doubts children’s ability to interpret and analyse the world: “she sometimes seems to go too far, as when claiming that babies recognise the actions they copy and reproduce”.
38 C. Both Reviewers C and D talks about something that parent have known for a long time (Text C: “…this is something most parents of teenagers are well aware of.“; Text D: “…she is spending too much time simply confirming what parents and preschool teachers have long known.“)
39 D. Reviewer B believes that a child’s brain is similar to a scientist experimenting with data. Reviewer D agrees: “they are creative and innovative, though not always correct”.
40 C. At the end of Reviewer’s C text they suggest :”… she provides insights into the human mind in general.” This implies that the author has covered general points, but wasn’t ‘comprehensive enough’ — not explaining everything in full detail.
41 D. The beginning of D starts with patients making “such claims” (mentioned at the very end of previous paragraph) all the time, and if granted a leave, they are likely to cause trouble. At the end of Paragraph D the author poses a question. The following paragraph continues the idea — it makes Ekman think of the question.
42 A. The previous paragraph ends with Ekman going through a recording, trying to find a hidden expression on patient’s face. Paragraph A talks about three more cases he managed to find while browsing the recording.
43 G. “Seven basic emotions” mentioned in the previous paragraph are the beginning and the main idea of this paragraph. At the end of the paragraph it is suggested that these emotions can be hidden, but next paragraph says that it is very difficult to achieve.
44 B. The last question of this paragraph helps us to connect it to the next one. The way to apply these techniques to crime-solving are mentioned in the next paragraph.
45 F. An easy question here, as the paragraph before clearly states that there is going to be an example next. This paragraph illustrates a hypothetical situation of using the technique to see through a person’s lie.
46 C. This and the next paragraph concentrate on the minor details that help to understand what really is on person’s mind.
47 C. Middle of the paragraph: “… you’ll welcome movies that pay attention to characterisation and dialogue…“.
48 D. Second sentence of Paragraph D goes on about the importance of a feel-good movie during a less fortunate period of human history.
49 B. The movie’s character “revises his own priorities” after going through a difficult period of their life.
50 В. Last sentence of the paragraph explains what made author make the movie and what message he decided to carry across — “leave preaching to the preachers”.
51 A. It is stated in the middle of the paragraph how cinema becomes a recognised form of art, just like music, theatre, painting and the rest.
52 B. Escapism is desire to escape from harsh reality. Second part of the sentence mentions the importance of it in the example with cartoons.
53 A. The technique of cross-cutting was used that made the narrative more dramatic and the culmination — more satisfying.
54 C. Second part of the paragraph states that a feel-good movie doesn’t have to ‘be dumb’.
55 B. This is a tricky one — it is about the example with Battleship Potemkin. The author hints at the idea, without saying it outright — when you are in a tough situation, you start worrying about the basics and not something exquisite.
56 D. Middle of the paragraph mentions how a group of characters manages to win the struggle with ‘big, bad, interfering bureaucrats‘.