Daniel Emmerson's Posts (18)

Dear All,Please note that I will be regularly updating the official TLEVP blog for the run-up to the final film in the series. I hope to make the blog as interactive as possible so please leave your comments and questions!To read the latest post, please follow this link:http://eslblogs.englishclub.com/film/the-learning-english-video-project-in-cambridge/The official blog home page is:http://eslblogs.englishclub.com/film/'Insights from China' is also on its way!Best wishes,Daniel.
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Greetings!I thought I would just post a quick blog to let you know that The Learning English Video Project will now be available to watch using MyEnglishClub. I have uploaded the films for the benefit of those people who were unable to see them either on Youtube or on EnglishClub.com. I hope that these videos will be useful and that you will learn something from them, if indeed you have not seen them before!I would also like to let you know that 'Insights From China', the next film in the series, will be released soon! This film will tackle a completely different aspect of learning English that I hope you will find exciting, educational and entertaining!I hope you are enjoying 2010 so far!Best Wishes,Daniel.
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China Video Blog - Now Online

Last year I was able to put together a video blog featuring footage and comments from every location that we visited while filming for The Learning English Video Project. I have just finished a short film featuring taster footage from China! The film is a supplement to the Director's blog (reading this may shed some light on some of the sequences) and as an additional insight into our trip. Please feel free to leave your comments.Enjoy!Daniel.http://eslblogs.englishclub.com/film/china-video-blog/
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From Shanghai to Sao Paulo

Greetings everyone!Thank you all so much for your recent comments. I was unable to respond to them any earlier as there are some internet restrictions in China...I am back online now though and will be updating the official blog today with new pictures and info!Please see:http://eslblogs.englishclub.com/film/blog/I look forward to reading more of your comments soon! We continue the project in Brazil tomorrow!All the best,Daniel.
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Off to China

Tomorrow I will be flying to Shanghai in order to continue working on The Learning English Video Project. I hope that I will get the chance to update the project blog everyday with pictures and tales, so keep checking Englishclub.com for updates!As soon as we finish filming in Shanghai, we will be off to Sao Paulo at the beginning of September. It is going to be an intensive few weeks of filming but I think these films will be excellent additions to the project. I look forward to hearing from everybody soon!Daniel.
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Stories From Morocco Script

To watch the film, go to www.englishclub.com and follow the links!Script - Stories From MoroccoDrafted by Nucha, ThailandOver 2 billion people will soon be learning English around the worldSource: British CouncilThe Learning English Video ProjectA 7-part series exploring aspects of English learning around the world by….∙ visiting school and language institutes∙ asking learners about their experiences, goals, problems, achievements∙talking to teachers about their methods, problems, solutions∙hearing tips and advise from learners and teachersTHE LEARNING VIDEO PROJECT STORY FROMStory From MoroccoThe film by Daniel EmmersonIt’s a big city. It’sum… there is a lot of nationalities, a lot of people and it’s a great city to live in there is a lot of things, new things and Morocco isn’t this advanced . But Casablanca is one of the most advanced cities in Morocco.Question: Why are people in Morocco learning English?Now the Moroccan system says every child has to learn English from the age of 12 and even if you want to go to university in Morocco now, they require you to have an intermediate level of English actually.Now you see billboards out there advertisements out there, they’re all in English , you know , they’re trying all the teasers they come up in English for the campaigns so now , for two years I’ve seen the progress happing mostly when I came here it was not that much ,but now English is people are learning English , there are a lot of foreign companies like American companies or other companies, they’re opening up and their headquarters or branches here in Morocco so I think it’s coming along there’s a lot of influence English language influence coming in Morocco .Now, most of the little trades and everything, business, it’s in English. I think that why? Even my father told me so because his work is all English so he is working in America so he told me English is very important.I think. It’s importance, English it’s for me the most important language in the world.It’s everywhere because of the tourism too. Morocco is really booming here as far as the English language is concerned if you go out and find a guide they’re fluent in English you’re gonna find better store …er like if you go to a small souk like a Moroccan market and they speak better English than many of the people out on the streets because I think they converse with a lot of conversation with a lot of tourists they know they are a lot of English speaking tourists . So, yeah, English is coming along more every day, all over Morocco.Welcome to Casablanca!Question: How does an international school in Morocco teach English?JODI MULDER( school director) American :The unique part of our school is the children will graduate with 3 languages Arabic, French and English but we teach out classes in English except for the French class and the Arabic class so the children begin in our school probably not knowing any English and as they go through the grade levels with support, they learn English.FLONA GUERNAQUI( teacher) Sri Lankan British :When I first started in 2005 we didn’t have an ESL system a kid was just taken in possibly with no English whatsoever and totally immersed in their grad level so right now unfortunately we could have a beginner in a pre – intermediate class but we have slight solution in that we do offer through night-school the chance for that kid to come in and go through a beginner course book let’s say.SALMA ECHAHLY (student) Moroccan:It’s …sometimes it can be chaotic because many people don’t understand and it can take weeks for one person to understand and it can take one day for another person to understand so there needs to be a balance and so in this school teachers help the students after school all the teachers without exception help the students after school so they can advance because it’s really hard with a lot of levels.FLONA GUERNAQUI( teacher) Sri Lankan British :In addition to all those other classes we have the lunchtime class that’s a walk – in for grades 9 and 10 they can just walk in with their homework with their social studies essay their English essay or a piece of literature that they have to read and I’ll help them through that guide them through it let’s say .ANOUR AEZIANE ELOTMANI( student) Moroccan :Yeah, the school it small and I think it’s better when it’s small because when you have too much people. I think the quality is not so high because there are some people who make a lot of … how to say… things that don’t belong to the lessons.The school is very nice there are good…There are a lot of teachers they are very good they are teaching very good and yeah it’s very nice.Question: What different experience have students had in learning English?Well I learned English when I was in the U.S. At 8 I went to the United States I stayed there 2 years so that’s where I go my accent from and then I came back to Morocco and I spent 6 years since I’ve been studying English in Morocco at the American School .Obviously English is not my native language but I did all my schooling after I graduated high school from Morocco I went back to the U.S. where I studied for about 8 years. I have two bachelors: one in econ.and one in finance then I worked for a little bit then I did my MBA in finance as well in the US. So my exposure to English before going to the U.S. was very limited .I took English probably for 3 years in high school before I went to the U.S. and continued my education in English.I’ve been learning English since 2004 ,so , with , in Germany but I feel that learning English in Germany is not leaning English like in an American School because when you are learning English in school , in Germany after school you’re sick of it so you don’t you learn, you make homeworks and so but you don’t practise your English .Generally the families don’t speak English if they do it’s very limited there aren’t any English books available a few ,but very difficult to get hold of it’s very difficult to get hold of a newspaper in English or a magazine in English erm.. if you do..on the rare occasion that you do find one the price is extortionate .I had ESL in U.S. and I learned by sign language I only learned by sign language so it was easier for me because my entourage talked in English but here in Morocco, I don’t think it’s that easy because your entourage talks Arabic and French and ..Well because my father speaks English very good so when he was with me I was trying to have conversation with him like two or three hours speaking with him. When I was doing mistakes he was correcting me.The good part about living in Morocco is that you know, the culture in itself is very err.. mixed in, you know Moroccan in itself as dialect is a combo or mix of Arabic, French and a little bit of Spanish as well so, people tell us you speak 3 or 4 languages or 5 or 6 and they’re like, wow you’re a genius .we’re of … it’s just the way we were brought up the culture or the dialect Moroccan dialect in itself err..it’s a mix of French, Arabic and English and Spanish kind of puts us in that , you know , mindest or gives us the exposure to speak, to speak different or to have the capacity of capabilities of learning other languages .English is not that heard in grammar and writing, it’s like French and you can find a lot of words in English that are exactly like French so French helped me a lot if I hadn’t know French I would have taken a lot more time .One of the challenges that I faced personally going to the U.S. is that academically here in Morocco in high school we learned the British English if I can differentiate between the British and the American the accents are totally different so the challenge I faced going to the U.S. is that , having to ..What’s the word. having to take whatever I’ve learned you know , the British way and kind of alter it especially accent – wise and in some instances in some expressions to the American… you know , American English if I can call it that but that was pretty challenging .Question: What tips and advice can learners offer?First of all , my parents say that it’s easy for me to learn I learn quickly and then when I begin to learn English I bought many books , CDs, dictionaries yeah and every time I was reading .. writing.. I was reading , writing , yeah because when I read and I see there is a word I don’t understand I check in dictionary and that helps me I love the English literature yeah, because I love reading and writing and when I I bought books English books and I love them like Harry Potter, yeah I love Harry Potter .It’s just how I heard things I saw movies.. movies … ummm personal teacher, ESL and after school and I worked a lot to get to my accent and to get to my level because I learned English in 6 months perfect English I don’t know if I can call it method… I have a particular method I don’t remember but , it’s like , I can say it’s magic .So the good piece of advice is that , you know everything is feasible , everything is possible as long as you put your mind into it and your effort and there is no… you know , there are no… limits or no … no obstacles if there is the willingness to learn .
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Dear All,Just another reminder that 'Stories from Morocco', the first documentary from The Learning English Video Project will be available for FREE VIEWING on Englishclub.com as of tomorrow.The film will also be available to watch on Youtube and Googlevideo but be sure to leave your comments on www.englishclub.com once you have seen it!Enjoy!!Daniel.
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Greetings!The first film from The Learning English Video Project is set to be released on April 21st 2009. Two versions of the film (one with and one without subtitles) will be FREE to watch on www.englishclub.com as soon as the film is released.The Learning English Video Project is sponsored by English Club and features seven documentary films shot in Morocco, Romania, USA, Spain, China, Brazil and UK. For more information visit the film website HERE
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The following script has been typed and distributed by Nongnutt from Bangkok, Thailand.To view the film in full, please CLICK HERE!The 'Making of' Script:My name is Daniel Emmerson and I am responsible for learning English Video Project .The learning English Video Project is a series of short films which will be hosted for free on the EnglishClub.com website is a resource learning English Video Project as a foreign language .The idea be hide the project was that we wanted to craft a series of films set in different methods and techniques that people use to learn English and we also want know why people are choosing to learn English as a foreign language why so popular and how people feel about doing like going aboard to study about going to private English lessons about having tutors and about aspect learning the language . I was interested to find out different it . There ‘re in people say in Morocco and Spain to people who want to go and travel around the world to various places like Cambridge and New York and really experience the language .It’s in home setting so the film crew ultimately consisted of myself and my close collaborator and very good friend, Joel Carr. We decided that we were going to work together on the project after working at Mill field Summer school in the UK.I wrote the project originally for English Club as an exclusive sponsor and after working with Joel at the summer school. We decided it would be a good idea to work on the project together. The first part of call on the trip was Cambridge. We went to Cambridge to find out what I’d like for international students coming to learn English in England and Cambridge being a very elaborate setting, we decided that . That would be the best, the best place to go. I got in contact with a Café what’s surprisingly called Michaelhouse’s which is situated right in the centre of Cambridge. And café is essentially a church which is little bit of an odd place to start the project but. The scheme that they had going at Michaelhouse was very interesting in that year after year .They acquire a sort of ,an apprentice if you like ,from Germany who comes to Cambridge and helps with pastoral duties and various other bits and pieces around the café . and I thought that was a brilliant example of how people come to learn English for a specific purpose .We went to Michaelhouse and met the head priest there and he gave us a rundown of all the various bits and pieces that this German apprentice would be doing .We met this young German fellow whose name was Clemens and he told us about how he was finding his experience , about how he would has to be making coffee and serving customer one day and how he would has to be doing readings in the church the next and a really unique they for someone to be doing . So I was really leased that we could document that and speak with both Clemens and his mentor at the church about these different experiences. We stayed in Cambridge from, I think eight days. It was a really nice experience how Cambridge worked. I’d spend much time at before and it was fantastic to see how Cambridge worked as and international environment and how people seemed so sort of, together there was a real essence of community in this rather quaint English town, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience there.Welcome to New York, Joel and I flew to New York and we went to visit LSL School which is at the Metropolitan College in the centre of New York City. This was something that I’d never done myself go to New York and meet people and find out about what happens in New York city. This was really strange experience for both myself and Joel. so we stayed for two nights in Harlem, which was great we got meet some of the international in there and then we moved to the centre of New York stayed very close to Wall Street so we had real access to a lot of international sort of businessmen and various other students who were studying at LSL the staff there were really helpful in providing us with plenty of students from all over the world but we decided to focus on student particularly from Spain, from Austria and from Argentina from South Korea and from Turkey and also from Israel who have come to New York just to learn English .That’s the main focus they really wanted to get involved in New York city life and I went to know meet real American people and go out and really sort of experience English as something more than a language . I’d really go to when Joel and I went over to film for the project ourselves because we also felt like we went, weren’t part of that culture. It was a place that we’d never been to and even though the native language is obviously English, we still felt a little bit perplexed as to what our rule was as a filmmaker .We stayed in Madrid for a couple of days where we met a lovely young lady whom we’re interested in interview her in one at the central parks in Madrid about here experiences, she also is an English teacher which gave a bizarre twist to the set of circumstances in that was still leaning, but she is te4aching young Spanish students, English as a foreign language and then we moved on to Granada which was a beautiful town in Andalucía , in the south of Spain where we collaborated with private language school there and they provided us with students of lots of different ages .so I found myself interviewing intermediate teenager and then elementary students of seven, eight, and nine years old . So which was really quite interesting and then straight up into adult learners talking about experiences that they’d had with English. Why English is important for Spanish people and how methodology has developed has developed in Western Europe over the last few years.I found Morocco to be a particularly interesting place because it was really culturally diverse from what I had experienced in the past. I’d had never been to a North Africa country before, so I wanted to find out how English played a part in everyday life in Morocco. How many Moroccan people spoke English and when they did , how were they learning it ,so our first part of call there was a school in the centre of Casablanca which was basically a standard school setting so that the students had everyday subjects, Science, Mathematics, English and all these subjects were taught in English so they were learning about history, geography and all this sort of stuff in English, so they would theoretically graduate as being tri-lingual which was a really fantastic…. Think to documents. I really enjoyed my time in Morocco because it was just hat much different from everywhere else that we went everything from the climate to the people the environment the markets the beautiful streets the people that we met some of the students took us in their homes and gave us vegetarian food. It was absolutely superb, I felt really welcome in morocco.Now the plan was to go to Belarus, but we found it extremely difficult to mar oeuvre all the bureaucratic elements of getting firstly getting into the country and secondly filming there. We weren’t too sure as to how that was going to work out from what I gather, Belarus is a wonderful place .It’s a beautiful country and I had some contacts in Minsk who were very keen to help out with the project. Unfortunately though we didn’t get around to sorting out the various forms, fees, insurance that we needed in order to get into the country so we made a leap, we were bold decision and I booked some train tickets, to go to Romania.We met several students who were studying at University of Bucharest and also at International House Bucharest so we had a bit of a different angle for Romania in that it was all very sort of thrown together. It was a bit of a chaotic trip but one that I thoroughly enjoyed the people that we met there were so eager to take part in the project full of enthusiasm and I felt that the people we met there were so dynamic and keen to get involved and the level of English there as you may have seen from the video blog, really, really impressed me.I tried to keep in touch with the people of English Club the audience essentially while we were traveling around so that we could identify with want people wanted to find out message boards and forums on the internet are such a positive way of getting information, but to see people and to hear people speaking about these things and to have an idea of what it’s like to be in the environment while they were learning is where the Learning English Video Project comes in because essentially what I want to do is to take the things that we have filmed to take these interviews and all of this stock footage that we got from each of cities that we went to and package it so that people are able to understand .Why these people are learning English how they are doing it and be able to see a bit of the environment and they were learning . I think that’s a very important attribute to learning anything your own personal environment and the way that you’re doing it is ultimately gonna, have massive impact on what your learning and how it’s happening .It’s was obviously quite chaotic trying to capture all of the different footage from different location practically with New York because it’s such a massive , great big place in order to try and contact some sort of real selection of footage fro the project. We needed to really think about where we were going to film from and how we were going to film what we were filming and the weather played a huge part in it believe it or not, and we really had to be quite careful with what we were doing. Luckily we didn’t have nay major setbacks with the project apart from being unable to film in Belarus. We got everything done that we needed to do.The EnglishClub.com blog site is something that started even before. We began production on the film so what we were doing with , while we traveling, was filming various bites and pieces and mixing some footage up and putting that online so that people could really keep up to date with what we were doing and where we were going .The blog archive was really successful. We’ve had thr4ee thousand views on, I think most, four of five video that are online at the moment with communication at the moment in internet is such a splendid tool for really commutating with people and finding out .How people are doing things differently all over the other side of the world and I want the Learning English Video Project to really be a part of that.So far , with the people that we’ve spoken to the place that we’ve seen the school that we’ve visited the experience has been nothing but a positive one . So far, more information on the project please finished English Club or Danielemmerson.com that it my website and we’ll hopefully to able to keep you updated with all the developments regarding the editing of the project and the release dates .
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The first film from The Learning English Video Project is now available on Englishclub.com for FREE!http://eslblogs.englishclub.com/film/The film is a 'making of' introduction to the project which features footage from England, USA, Spain, Morocco and Romania!See the film on the Englishclub.com blog page and feel free to leave some comments!Best Wishes,Daniel.
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#04 - Nosferatu

A continuation of my previous blog and the question is the book always better than the film?Film: Nosferatu: Phantom der NachtDirector: Werner HerzogYear of Release: 1979I am a huge fan of European cinema and Werner Herzog is one of my favourite German directors of all time. The film was part of a five-part collaboration with eccentric actor and dramatist Klaus Kinski. This particular version of Nosferatu is based on Bram Stoker's 'Dracula', a classic novel written in 1897. It is set in Wismar, Germany and examines the set of circumstances that follow Count Dracula's journey to Western Europe in search of new victims.In this example of 'book vs film', it is too difficult for me to decide which I prefer. Herzog's interpretation provides fantastic entertainment and although the characters are manipulated in his vision, it makes for a wonderful story. Instead of the traditional power hungry, creature of the night, this Count Dracula is alone, desperate for love and companionship. During his first visit to Lucy, the heroine of the story, Dracula confesses his desperation and she mocks him, making the Count appear most timid. On the other hand, one of the reasons that I fell in love with Bram Stoker's novel in the first place is that it provided the foundations of Dracula, a demonic, mystical creature and one of the most feared figures in literature. Herzog dismantles that figure, making Nosferatu a difficult, but brilliant film to watch.In this case I recommend the book over the film. This is a fantastic piece of cinema, but if you have to decide which to explore first, go with the book!If you can think of any other examples of whether you preferred a book to a film interpretation, please feel free to comment!Vocabulary:Interpretation - A rendering or translation of another persons idea/work.Mock - to laugh at.Demonic - like a demon; evil.Youtube video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5-J1a6WPJc
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#03 - Everything Is Illuminated

My third film themed blog is about a comedy drama called ‘Everything Is Illuminated’. As with my previous posts, these are simply notes that I have made after watching the film myself. Please see a short list of new vocabulary at the end of the blog that you might find useful.Remember, watching films in English are a great way of improving your language skills!Film: Everything Is IlluminatedDirector: Liev SchreiberYear of Release: 2005Everything is Illuminated (based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel of the same name) follows the moving tale of an American Jew who travels to the Ukraine in order to discover the secrets of his grandfather’s escape to the USA during World War 2. The film is far from a fact flaunting history lesson, although it does sit comfortably in a subject range of which I am most interested. Even though this elegantly crafted adaptation was a hit on the big screen, it is by no means a typical block buster smash! It is a heart-warming drama set in the Ukrainian countryside with none other than Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello as the film’s humble narrator. Mathew Libatique’s beautiful cinematography brings the rich landscapes and charming Ukrainian labourers to life with his warm and sensitive use of the lens, portraying the country as a startlingly beautiful place (even though the film was shot in the Czech Republic). The film is full of tit-bits of historical information and enriching subplots that make for truly remarkable viewing.Vocabulary:Elegantly – (adverb) – Fine or luxurious in designAdaptation – (noun) – Something produced by changing something else, for example to adapt a film into a theatre productionHumble – (adjective) – Not proud or arrogant. Modest.Lens – (noun) – A see-through piece of curved material used for magnifying and changing the appearance of light rays. In this context, it is part of a video camera.Subplot – (noun) – A secondary story.Can you think of any other recent films that are based on a book?Is it always true that the book is better than the film?Feel free to comment!

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#02 - The Machinist (El Maquinista)

I would like to continue my blog by adding some notes about an American thriller called 'The Machinist'. The film was released in 2004 and caught my attention because I am fan of the leading actor. The notes I made after watching the film were originally for my own use, but I have decided to post them because I feel that films can play an important role in learning English and this may give you an idea as to what The Machinist is about. Perhaps you could also make a note of the vocabulary I have included at the end.See if you can gather from my notes as to whether or not I enjoyed the film!Film Title: The Machinist (El Maquinista)Director: Brad AndersonYear of Release: 2004Like a stalker on the corner of a dark street at midnight, this film creeps through its duration at an unsettling pace and with a frightening agenda. It peers through the blinds letting shifts of daylight into its twisted setting and conjures a wild looming that is rarely seen outside of David Lynch’s back catalogue. The result is chilling and it harbours a plot so fantastic that even Christian Bale has trouble unmasking the flaccid conclusion to this otherwise ballsy picture.I wanted this to be great. I wanted this to be something really special. The spooky ambience and forgotten hype that this film caused when it was released in 2004 almost guaranteed its inability to live up to my drastic expectations. I recently saw the film for the first time and it was not hard to see why. The Machinist sweeps along at a gentle pace, allowing for its baleful darkness to seep in. Sinister characters rustle about spacious boundaries but are left to fester as opposed to being back handed across the films disappointingly sloppy ending. It is too bad they had no say in the matter, for the typical showdown almost blows this fragile horror out of the grim crimson pool it built its hype around. I plan to keep my eye out for writer Scott Kosar with hope that he will adapt his technique in projects to come. His wonderful ability to weave relationships with the unknown is a remarkable gift, it’s just a pity that director Brad Anderson couldn’t help steer the project in a different direction.Vocabulary:Creeps (verb) - to move slowly, like a reptile.Back Catalogue (noun) - previous workHarbour (verb) - to secretly shelterBaleful (adjective) - full of dark and menacing influencesGrim (adjective) - stern or sinister

This is one of the official posters for the film. Do you think that you would be able to guess from the poster that this film is a thriller?
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#01 - On The Waterfront

Firstly I would like to extend a warm welcome to everybody has joined MyEC and hope that you are making the most of your membership to this excellent social network! I have been part of MyEC for a few weeks now but I have still not managed to write a blog post yet, so here goes.I have been very busy with editing the Learning English Video Project (Exploring English) over the last couple of months and I am pleased to report that everything is going well. I would also like to add that I am a huge fan of films in general and I wish to use my MyEC blog to discuss some of the films I have seen recently…Film: On the WaterfrontDirected By: Elia KazanStarring: Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint and Karl MaldenYear of Release: 1954On the Waterfront is a classic American film based on a series of true events that occurred in New York around the 1940’s. The film takes place on the New York docks and is focuses on Terry Malloy (Brando), a former boxer turned dockworker, who works under the supervision of the Mafia. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that Malloy is a rather complicated character; his sensitivity and will to ‘do the right thing’ is charged with aggression and loyalty to his brother, who also works for the gangsters.On the Waterfront is a film I have seen several times and my desire to watch it again recently came about when I discovered that Steven Berkoff had adapted the production for the theatre this year. This got me thinking about how relevant the film is to audiences of a new generation and as to whether or not the underlying principles of the film still retain their significance in social discourse.For example:Is it right to inform the authorities about somebody who is breaking the law if a close family member is also involved?Should you go to the police if someone you know has committed a crime, even if none of your colleagues, friends or family will appreciate you for it?Brando’s character explores these issues head-on in the film making for bold and dramatic cinema, which is always a pleasure to watch.Please feel free to comment on the examples above, as I would be very interested to see what you think!Links:The Learning English Video Project (Exploring English) - http://eslblogs.englishclub.com/film/A clip from 'On The Waterfront' -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BflTajAbf6M
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