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Date: Nov 08 2006


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

When The Da Vinci Code came out, many countries banned it because of its controversial treatment of Catholicism. Eventually, the film was released most places. But this type of censorship happens all the time.

In China, the original version of the latest Mission Impossible movie was banned because of its portrayal of the city of Shanghai. Only after the filmmakers cut certain scenes was the film released in Chinese theaters.

In fact, many movies are censored in China. Some believe that censorship is one reason piracy is such a problem there. People want to see what they aren’t allowed to see.

Mason knows of a film that had to be edited before it was released in the US. Listen as he tells Toby all about it.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  One of my favorite films, uh, it’s actually, like, one of the first DVDs that I bought, um, is a movie called The Professional with… Jean Renoud is in it. Um, the director’s name’s gonna escape me. It’s actually called Leon. It was a French film but Natalie Portman was in it, and it was shot, I believe also in French and in English. There’s, there’s a 20-minute extended version that is the foreign version of it that was only available in the States long after the thing had done its theatrical run and it’s a vastly different film because it’s this young girl and this old assassin and they actually, like, they fall in love. And there’s, like, some borderline pedophilia-y scenes. Nothing happened, you don’t see her naked or anything like that, but stuff that was too risque for American audiences and so they cut this huge, amazing plot portion out of the film that drastically changes its impact.

Toby:  That’s really surprising to me because if you think about a film like Lolita, which came out in, what, the early sixties with James Mason, I mean, hello-oo?

Mason:  Yeah, you know? So, I don’t know if it was just a sign of the times, you know, the sixties, people were more open but…

Toby:  I guess, over all, I just feel like, on principle...

Mason:  If someone makes a film it should be the film that was made.

Toby:  And on principle, people should be allowed to make their own choice. The government or other institutions shouldn’t be making it for us.



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Mason has a lot to say about Leon. Many scenes were cut from the film before it was released in the States. Those scenes furthered a part of the plot that involved the adult assassin having an attraction to the girl character in the film.

When Mason says “pedophilia-y” he is making up a word. He is adding a “y” to the noun “pedophilia” and turning the noun into an adjective.

Toby isn’t so sure about the concept of cutting films to please international audiences. She believes that movie-goers should be able to decide what they think is acceptable.

What do you think about censorship?


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