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Date: Jan 25 2001


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.

Last week Miguel came home with about a dozen videos he bought from the store. One of the movies, “Ghost Dog,” was a movie I’ve wanted to see for a long time. The movie features Forest Whitaker as a lone hit man in the service of the Mafia. He follows a strict code like that of the samurai warriors of ancient Japan even though the setting is in urban, contemporary America.  


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.






Zach:  I hope you’re not mad, but I snagged one of those movies you bought the other day.

Migs:  You snagged one? Which one did you take?

Zach:  “Ghost Dog.” The one with Forest Whitaker. Directed by Jim Jarmusch.

Migs:  Oh yeah. I didn’t see that. How was it?

Zach:  It was, like, one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time.

Migs:  So it was worth the six bucks I paid for it?

Zach:  Is that all you paid for it?

Migs:  Yeah it was cheap. It was, like, three for…buy two get one free. So, it was dirt cheap.

Zach:  Yeah it’s a really good movie.

Migs:  “Ghost Dog.” The one with Forest Whitaker. Directed by Jim Jarmusch.

Zach:  So, what’s it about?

Migs:  Basically, is this hit man who lives on the top of this building. And he has all of these, like, carrier pigeons. And he lives in this total squalor, but he reads all these books and he’s very well educated. And he follows this samurai code. He does these jobs for Mafia people…

Tanis:  I’m sorry I don’t think this sounds very plausible.

Zach:  What do you mean?

Tanis:  I just don’t think many, like, bums live on tops of building with carrier pigeons and are secret samurai warriors for the Mafia.

Forest Whitaker plays a contract killer in “Ghost Dog.”


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I liked this movie from the very start. It has a very interesting feel to it. The way Ghost Dog walks around like a phantom is very strange. He often recites passages from “Hagakure” a book written in ancient Japan in the 1700s. Its combines themes from Zen and Confucianism. The values it advocates are of loyalty, purity and selflessness. The plot is not too much different than most gangster movies. But, the best part of the movie is watching the way that Ghost Dog interacts with the world around him. I give it a 9 out of 10. Have you seen this movie? Would you like to comment on it? Come to the “Movie Madness” message board and ask them! From the front row, Zach


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