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Activity 1



Characteristics of silent cinema




Let's learn!

Anagram solving

Which characteristic of silent movies is hidden in each anagram? Tip: the first letter is given.

O C A R V E T I N G
I T E E N T L T S I R
S T A S K C L I P
A C Y M A N C O N P I G M S I C U
P C O R N I E J O T S D E P E




DIFFERENTIATION

Read the comments.
Then, click on your path!

A
or
B

Workbook p. 79

3
Comment 3

“People are chased by wild animals or by the police. People get into fights with someone much, much larger and stronger than them. It’s universally funny and not dependent on any one language. This is called “slapstick” comedy, after the wooden object used to make a slapping sound when an actor pretended to hit another actor.”


Ronan, San Francisco, CA

5
Comment 5

“Overacting means being particularly expressive in your performance because you can’t talk and you will need to explain to the people what you are going to do with your gestures, movements, and facial expressions. ”


Annabelle, Vaughan, CA

6
Comment 6

“Because the films were in black and white, actors wore make-up to enhance contrast and make their expressions even more noticeable. Also, the quality and definition of the image was often very poor. Because of the lack of dialogue, comedy in silent films was often created by situational and action comedy. ”


Liam, Phoenix, AZ

1
Comment 1

“Transitions or intertitles are the text that was shown between some scenes in silent films to help people understand the story better. They used short sentences, with exclamations or questions.”


Debbie, Dallas, TX


8
Comment 8

“In silent movies, the accompanying music was essential, because it underlined the tone of each sequence and illustrated the movement of the actors. This was usually done live by a pianist or an orchestra, often improvised, but some films have official, specially composed music scores.”


Mathew, Nashville, TN

Grammar in progress

Exprimer l’obligation

  • L’auxiliaire modal must
  • → Toujours suivi de la base verbale sans to.
    → Ne se conjugue pas (pas de -s ni de -ed).

  • Les expressions modales
  • → Permettent d’exprimer l’obligation au passé ou au futur.
    → Se conjuguent.
    → Contiennent un to.

  • Trouvez, dans les commentaires précédents, deux façons de parler d’obligation au passé. Connaissez-vous-en d’autres ?

Exercices p. 176 Précis grammatical p. 270

Let's talk this out!

Voir les réponses
GROUP WORK
MEDIATION

Share your findings with your classmates and learn  about the other comments.

3
What is similar? What is different?


4
Are there elements of silent movies which are still used in today’s cinema? Why or why not?


5
Do you like silent cinema? Why or why not?

Useful vocabulary: While / Whereas silent films… modern films…
In the past, actors would + V… , but today actors…
I’m keen on / not so keen on…
I find it + adj…
It makes me laugh / feel bored…
Voir les réponses

PATH
A

Focus on comments 1, 2, 5 and 6.

1-A
Identify the characteristics of silent movies. For each characteristic, explain the technique used, the reason why and the objective of it.


2-A
Think about the last movie you saw at the cinema or on TV. What is different? What is the same?

Useful vocabulary: Typically, silent movies were…
Actors often / sometimes...
In order to + V, they…
It made… look quicker / more expressive…
The objective / aim was to…
The last movie I saw was...
Voir les réponses

PATH
B

Focus on comments 3, 4, 7 and 8.

1-B
Identify the characteristics of silent movies. For each characteristic, explain the technique used, the reason why and the objective of it.


2-B
Think about the last movie you saw at the cinema or on TV. What is different? What is the same?

Useful vocabulary: Actors often / sometimes…
In the past, silent movies used (+ technique)…
They resorted to… The situation appeared + V
It aimed at + V-ing... So as to + V, they used…
Recently, I watched…
Just as in silent movies, there were...

7
Comment 7

“Projection speed is one of the most important characteristics of silent cinema. It was used to share a feeling of quickness. Old movies in silent cinema were shot in slow motion and then edited in fast motion.”


Claire, New York, NY

4
Comment 4

“The projection speed was also connected to the tempo of the music. In today’s cinema, this is sometimes used in action movies for fight scenes, to make the situation appear more dangerous, and the hero or heroine even braver, stronger, and faster.”


Pete, Chattanooga, TN

2
Comment 2

“Since there was no dialogue in a silent film, you had to use your imagination. In order to understand the film, you needed to put your brain to work to think of what the characters were saying, what they were doing, and what their opinions were.”


Gwen, Bayonne, NJ

Over to you!

Talking heads: the history and techniques of silent cinema

Let’s use what you have learnt in
Activity 1
!

You are film students in an art school, making a documentary to show how silent cinema is different from today’s cinema. Film yourselves as “film experts”. Be convincing!

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