IELTS Speaking topic - Art (Movies) #2 -

IELTS Speaking topic – Art (Movies) #2

This is a sample response for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. In addition to the model answer there are highlighted words and phrases. Teal is for vocabulary relating to this topic, yellow is for generally useful words and phrases.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Talk about a movie you rewatch often
You should say:

  • the name and the genre of the movie
  • what it is about
  • what you like about it

and say why you rewatch it often

Model answer

There this movie that I have been revisiting now and then since I was introduced to it by an older colleague seven years ago. It’s called This is Spinal Tap and it’s a mockumentary about a rock band with the same name. A mockumentary is a genre of fake documentary, usually an ironic comedy. The movie shows us the rise and fall on the band in retrospect as they go on a disastrous music tour around the US. It shows us the dynamics within the band – the members, the manager and record company representatives as well as their multiple performances in different music venues.

There are several reasons why I am so very fond of this movie. First of all, the humour is superb. It’s a classic example of understated, dry British humour that you have to get used to, but once you do you just can’t get enough of it. Secondly, the plot is rather simply but still very engaging, the gripping story of the bands few successes and many failures is fascinating. Finally, the acting is spot on and is very believable. It truly feels like a documentary rather than a staged comedy set.

I go back to this movie again and again because it has so much to offer. It is full of jokes and references and every time I rewatch it I discover something new. I also find it to be a great movie by its own merit – a marvelous example of well-edited piece of film industry. It’s a brilliant ironic commentary on how pampered music artists can be. A real treat to watch, this movie.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Movies and the cinema

Do you think watching movies is a good way to improve one’s English language skills? Why or why not?

It certainly does, and in more ways than one. The obvious benefit is exposure to the language in all its forms – words, pronunciation, intonation. We see those used naturally and subconsciously pick them up, all while enjoying your favourite film. The brain does not perceive this as an arduous training exercise, but rather a form of entertainment. This in turn facilitates learning. Another less straightforward benefit is diving into cultural aspects of the language. In order to use a foreign language efficiently you also have to have background knowledge of its culture. Any language is full of historical or pop references, and without at least basic knowledge of such no amount of learning will make you proficient at speaking or understanding.

Some people argue that movies can have a negative influence on young people. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Let’s start off by stating the obvious – young people tend to be quite impressionable. That is, they haven’t developed healthy skepticism that comes with age and experience and they tend to be gullible and easily inspired. Not always a bad thing in itself, it makes them vulnerable to various influences associated with movies and their antagonists or protagonists. As an example, the main character can be a heavy smoker, but a young person’s mind sees it as a cool thing, and they want to imitate it to look like their favourite movie hero without any regard for the danger smoking entails. Same could be said about violence that is a major trope in most movies nowadays. Exposure to constant shooting and fighting on screen normalises it in young peoples’ minds. 

Some people prefer to watch movies at home rather than in the cinema. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

When you go to the movies, you have several reasons to do so. One of them could be a recent release that can’t be watched anywhere else – so you either watch it now in the theatre or buy a Blu-ray disc months later. Some people can’t stomach such compromises and they absolutely have to see the latest flick as soon as possible, so cinema is their only option. Others enjoy the unprecedented sound and picture quality – a very understandable reason indeed! Finally, going to the cinema can be a romantic and glamorous experience if you want to treat your nearest and dearest to a nice, inexpensive night out.

Mind you, watching a movie at home has it perks too. It is much more affordable or even free and you don’t have to go anywhere for it. Some people simply dread leaving comfort of their home. You don’t have to sit through the mind-numbingly boring trailers before the movie either. This is a big turn-off for many movie-goers, myself included. Last but not least, thanks to the Internet you can watch older titles that are no longer shown in theatres.

Books and movies

In your opinion, what are the benefits of watching movies over reading books?

This is an unusual side of the argument as usually people discuss the benefits of reading over watching movies. But bear with me here, watching movies does have its upsides. First and foremost, despite a widely-held misconception, not every single movie is based on a book. There are many stories that were created as film scripts and therefore there’s no book, if you want the story you will have no choice but to watch the movie! Another one, and this one can be easily argued, but seeing a movie tends to be a more relaxing pastime. Reading a books requires focus and attention whereas turning on a film is much easier – a great way to decompress without any commitment to the act. And one more thing – if you are keen on discussing something with your friends or colleagues, movies are the way to go. As reading is much less popular than it used to be, you won’t have many kindred spirits to talk about it. On the contrary, movies are as popular as they have ever been so there’s plenty of other people to talk about them.

What role do you think technology has played in making movies and books accessible to a wider audience?

The ever-increasing reach of the Internet made access to all sorts of media ridiculously easy. Today you are a few keystrokes away from downloading your favourite book or a movie, in many cases toy won’t even have to pay a penny for it. These are the two main changes – universal accessibility and financial ease of procuring said pieces of media. Moreover, the web enables you to get something that is in a language different from your own. Say, you want to read a Harry Potter book in English but you just can’t because you’re from Poland or Mozambique or wherever else. This is no longer an issue as you can get that off the Internet, print it out and have yourself a book. So I think we should be very thankful to recent tech advancements that brought us closer to easily-accessible content.

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