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Black Swan

Black Swan

Date: Jan 26 2011

Themes: Sports

Grammar: Third Conditional

Intro

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Professional athletes push their bodies incredibly hard in pursuit of perfection. Basketball players endure strains, sprains, and broken bones. American football players get hit in the head so often and so hard that they can end up with brain damage later in life. And dancers are no exception. The new movie Black Swan portrays the dark side of the ballet world.

In the movie, Natalie Portman plays a hard-working dancer with the New York City Ballet whose dreams come true when she is picked to be the star of a new production of Swan Lake. But the dream soon becomes a nightmare, as Portman’s character struggles to maintain her sanity while dealing with the intense emotional and physical stress of her new role. Hear Jeff and Devan talk about the film.

Dialog

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

Devan

Devan

Jeff

Jeff

Devan:  So I’m not usually big on thrillers or suspense films, however, I really want to see that Black Swan movie that’s getting all the buzz right now.

Jeff:  Oh, the one with Natalie Portman in it?

Devan:  Yeah, because it’s about this ballet dancer that’s trying to prepare for her leading role, but she has this rivalry going on with another dancer. And it just…it seems really interesting to me because it’s more like a psychological type thriller, not like a gory horror flick or anything like that.

Jeff:  Yeah, doesn’t her rival kind of turn into a sort of alter ego?

Devan:  I think so, yeah, I think there’s definitely some sort of twist like that. But it kind of raises an interesting question, you know, like when does a rivalry go too far? And what’s healthy competition versus just pitting yourself against someone else and comparing yourself to someone like in an unhealthy kind of way?

Jeff:  Do you have any…like I know you have a sister, any sibling rivalry?

Devan:  Oh, we definitely had the sibling rivalry thing going on, always trying to outdo each other. And I’m sure that if she’d had some leading role in something when I was growing up, I would have been furious.

Jeff:  Sometimes it’s healthy, though, it keeps both parties motivated to better themselves.

Devan:  That’s definitely true, but I definitely don’t think that’s the angle on this film.

 

Grammar Point

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Lesson MP3

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Discussion

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Devan is excited to see Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman. Black Swan is a psychological thriller about a ballerina who deals with intense pressure as well as a rivalry with another dancer.

Devan thinks that sometimes competition with another person can go too far. When she was growing up, she and her sister had sibling rivalry. They were very competitive with each other.

Jeff agrees that rivalries can go too far. But he also thinks that sometimes they can be useful, if they make both people try harder to do well.

Have you ever had a rivalry with someone else? Are you competitive?

 

Comments

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alpakka

Hungary

Great movei, Natalie Portman was really amazing, she absolutelydeserved the Oscar!

09:28 PM Dec 08 2013 |

zhaleh hoor

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

A great Flick,fantastic!!!

11:39 AM Dec 05 2013 |

nfrtary

nfrtary

Egypt

i like the flick

12:32 AM Jan 17 2012 |

zeineuk

zeineuk

Kazakhstan

rivarly is blinding the person. Sometimes it helps, however it is more get hurt someone, especially for yourself!!!

09:55 PM Oct 10 2011 |

Bruce_zhou

China

to be honest, I like rivalry,because I like use my ability and I like push my self,nothing is fairly,someone who want get what he want only by competion,I think rivalry si good way to distribute resource.because no one like lose.that’s my point 

12:46 PM Aug 24 2011 |

amandaaugusto

Brazil

i love black swan,natalie was fucking amazing.

09:35 PM Apr 25 2011 |

♫Anna♥

♫Anna♥

Russian Federation

to tell the truth I expected smth more from this film….  but of course film is not bad… there is a food for thinking…I like such films…

09:17 PM Apr 02 2011 |

Marciimn

Marciimn

Brazil

I didn't watch this movie yet, but I will watch. A friend of mine said that he will lend me this movie.

...and I'm not competitive. This isn't so good because to be a champion, it's necessary to fight. I really must be more competitive, I'm certain of this.

06:25 PM Mar 28 2011 |

lyly999

lyly999

Tunisia

i'm totaly against about rivalry ,  i mean in negative meaning , when it go too far . in fact it make us into war beteewn what our selves and the other person that we wanna compare to him and be better than him , IT can affect our self confident, forget who reallly are  ,and make us lost beteewn what we want and what we can do  

06:54 PM Feb 15 2011 |

Afrah

Afrah

Saudi Arabia

I don't like to be a competitive person . Rivalry can turn out to be a bad thing . It might destroy relationships and friendships .

08:32 PM Feb 05 2011 |

Romio79

Romio79

Russian Federation

I have enough rivalry in my life. Basically at work. Of course competition can have it's benefites. But it can have a dark side too. You know nobody like to lose, so rivalry is not always a fair play and some times it really goes too far. As for me cooperation is much better. It's better to work with partners than opponents.

 

 

 

 

06:52 PM Jan 29 2011 |

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