Friday, 29 January 2016

AT THE CINEMA - MACBETH

 "... a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  

It came out on the 5th this month and,  at last, I came to see it this morning. It's the latest film version of Shakespeare's Macbeth. I saw it at the cinema with 4scA, one of my classes. 
It is a great movie: dark, gloomy, violent, impressive. It was not my first Macbeth, of course, but it was certainly an outstanding one. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are giant actors and I expected them to be remarkable  as the two protagonists.  But they were beyond perfection. As Macbeth was doomed to be king and Lady Macbeth his Queen, Fassbender and Cotillard were born to embody these two icon figures.  They were not simply remarkable but incredibly intense, impeccable in their renditions. 



GO ON READING THIS  REVIEW AT MY FLY HIGH BLOG!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

INSIDE OUT - RILEY'S FIRST DATE



Do you ever look at people and wonder what happens in their minds? This is exactly what brilliant Pixar film Inside Out  (2015) tries to do. 

Inside Out is the story of what happens in Riley's mind. Riley is 12, she leads a pretty good life with her loving parents,  she plays hockey and loves Minnesota, her home state. Her life goes on quite smoothly with the help of her emotions; Joy, Fear, Sadness, Disgust, and Anger. But one day she must move  to San Fransisco and once she is there Joy and Sadness disappear, which  symbolizes her difficulty accepting her new life. Joy and Sadness go on a quest to return home and save Riley....

The video I've chosen for this lesson is not in the movie. It is a clip released after the great success Inside Out got both from audiences and critics all around the world. 

What happens in Riley's parents' minds when a boy, Jordan,  comes round to take their daughter out? Enjoy the video and don't forget to complete the tasks in the worksheet below. Practice makes perfect!

Monday, 18 January 2016

THE IMITATION GAME: ALAN TURING, CREATOR OF MODERN COMPUTING



"Sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of 
who do the things no one can imagine"


Alan Turing was a prodigy endowed with incredible stubborness and will power. He succeeded in an apparently impossible enterprise saving thousands of lives during WWII: he invented a machine to decrytp  Enigma, the Germans' secret code, thus boycotting many of their deadly attacks on Britain. He saved all those lives  thanks to his ingenious intuition, algorithms and computing being almost a game to him . He contributed to change the outcomes of a horrifying war,  designing his machine which could compute thousands of figures at a speed a human mind could have never achieved, neither the most brilliant. He is now considered one of the fathers of computer science and a war hero. 

Friday, 8 January 2016

KIKA, EDO & THE SINGING OF THE TREES

In November you met Maria Sofia, studying Arabic and giving a helping hand in Palestine. In December, Emanuele, living in Milan and working as a software developer. After them, the first of my former students I want to introduce you in 2016 is Edoardo , Edo,  with his lovely girlfriend, Federica, aka Kika. They live in Salento, in the South of Italy. Contrada Lusci is their place and a lifestyle, about which they write on their blog. They are a special couple and I'm glad to share their story with you.  
It is a story of love, peace, beauty, respect for nature and every living being, hope and incredible adventures.


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Edoardo was one of my students, he left school eleven years ago and he is a young man in his thirties now. I met him again a couple of months ago because he and his lovely partner, Federica, presented a very original project, a book + CD,  here in my town and I was invited to the event by friends and colleagues.

Obviously teenagers change once they turn into men and women but what surprised me most meeting Edoardo again was how totally different his posture, attitude, smile, speaking voice and look were. He looked and sounded relaxed, calm, focused and imperturbable. His eyes and his smile were warming, welcoming, peaceful. Well, actually, both Kika and Edo are the embodiment of the word “peaceful” and  both have a special smiling light in their eyes which speaks volumes of their inner world.  

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

MODULE 2. PARENTS & CHILDREN: MR GRADGRIND IN HARD TIMES (CHARLES DICKENS, 1853)

THE PLOT


BBC Hard Times - 1994

Thomas Gradgrind is an educator and a riter on political questions. He has founded a school where his education theories are put into practice: children are taught nothing but facts, and he educates his own children, Louisa and Tom, in the same way, neglecting their imagination and their affections. He also adopts Sissy Jupe, whose father worked  in a circus.
Mr Gradgrind suggests his daughter should marry Josiah Bounderby, a  rich factory owner and banker of the city some thirty years older than she is. Louisa, desiring to help her brother Tom in his career, consents to the marriage, which naturally proves to be very unhappy.