martes, 11 de febrero de 2014

Madrid Teacher: Alice in Wonderland

Who wrote Alice in Wonderland?
Have you read the story?
What is it about?
Have you seen any of the films made around the story?
Which version stands out in your mind?
Who were the actors?
Did you have a favourite character?
What different interpretations does the story have?

Four Madrid Teachers answer most of the questions above, so if you don't really have an answer for them, watching the video will be the perfect excuse to find out the information and develop your listening skills.

At the same time, it can help us to revise some features of spoken English, as usual:

Use of so as a linking word to start a conversation.
Reacting to what someone tells us: Really?, Ok!
Agreement: Yeah; Yeah, definitely; right; that's right
Emphasising adjectives with adverbs: absolutely amazing
Phrases to gain thinking time as we talk: you know; well
Hedging our opinions with introductory phrases: I think it's...
Apologising: Oh, sorry.
Use of like as a filler or linking word to introduce ideas.

So, who’s excited about the new Tim Burton rendition of Alice in Wonderland that’s coming out soon?
I am.
I am.
Yeah. I loved that Disney new version years ago, so it’d be nice to see his take on it.
Yeah, definitely. I saw a trailer for it when I went to see Avatar, and they’re actually doing it in 3D as well.
Oh, really?
Oh, I didn’t know that.
It’s gonna be awesome. Seriously.
It may…
It’s gonna be absolutely amazing.
It may and I would probably say that if I hadn’t seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was very excited for that film I, you know, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp make a great pair, but it was such a disappointment.
For me, at least, it didn’t live up to the original in any way.
No, the original was good. This one though, this Alice in Wonderland I think it’s, it’s an extension of the original story and the sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass it’s, it’s another, another part of the story. I think Alice is a little bit older, she’s about 19 and, er, there’s a new plot.
Same characters.
So who’s, who’s your favourite Alice in Wonderland character?
For me the Cheshire Cat.
Ha, ha, ha. Right. That was great.
For me the Cheshire Cat is very funny.
It’s great.
When I watched it, I was so young that I really just enjoyed the visuals of the cartoon and I really liked the little oysters or clams that were dancing on the beach right before the walrus ate them up.
It’s always made me sad.
Oh sorry. Do you think there’s a difference between how you see Alice in Wonderland now that you’re adults and how you saw it when you were kids?
I’m sure.
What sort of differences can you see?
Well, for me it was a very innocent story just about strange people and a girl chasing a rabbit and she becoming bigger and smaller but that was it, for me that was it. There, there’s nothing really more to it but there are some undertones.
What kind of undertones?
I think when they start, I think when they start eating mushrooms or…
LSD related
…and everything starts changing and the Cheshire Cat fades in and out it starts to get a little, hmm, implicative of drugs.
Oh, really? Of drugs?
Is it the caterpillar as well?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
That’s right.
He’s got a hookah on it, he’s just chilling, having a great day.
He’s having a very good time and did you find it scary like when you watched it as children?
Yeah, I found it scary the part when the king and queen.
She’s so abrasive. She’s screaming the whole time, I’m like please stop yelling.
Yeah, you think Alice is going to die.
And no one seems trustworthy. That’s the thing. Even the Mad Hatter who apparently is supposed to be some kind of guide or something, no one seems like they’re willing to let you know what they’re really after.
Nothing is as it seems.