I. Bài đọc
Griffith and American films
Movies are key cultural artefactsthat offer a window into American cultural and social history. A mixture of art, business, and popular entertainment, the popular entertainment, the movies provide a host of insights into Americans’ shifting ideas, fantasies, and preoccupations.
A. Many films of the early silent era dealt with gender relations. Before 1905, as Kathy Peiss has argued, movie screens were filled with salacious sexual imagery and risque humor, drawn from burlesque halls and vaudeville theaters. Early films offered many glimpses of women disrobing or of passionate kisses. As the movies’ female audience grew, sexual titillation and voyeurism persisted. But an ever-increasing number of the film dealt with the changing work and sexual roles of women in a more sophisticated manner. While D.W. Griffith’s films presented an idealized picture of the frail Victorian child-woman and showed an almost obsessive preoccupation with female honor and chastity, other silent movies presented quite different images of femininity. These ranged from the exotic, sexually aggressive vamp to the athletic, energetic “serial queen”; the street smart urban working gal, who repels the sexual advances of her lascivious boss; and cigarette-smoking, alcohol drinking chorus girls or burlesque queens.
B. In early 1910, director D.W. Griffith was sent by the Biograph Company to the west coast with his acting troupe, consisting of actors Blanche Sweet, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore, and others. While there, the company decided to explore new territories, traveling several miles north to Hollywood, a little village that was friendly and enjoyed the movie company filming there. By focusing the camera on particular actors and actresses, Griffith inadvertently encouraged the development of the star system. As early as 1910, newspapers were deluged with requests for actors’ names. But most studios refused to divulge their identities, fearing the salary demands of popular performers. As one industry observer put it, “In the ‘star’ your producer gets not only a ‘production’ value …. but a ‘trademark’ value, and an ‘insurance’ value which are … very potent in guaranteeing the sale of this product.” As the star system emerged, salaries soared. In the course of just two years, the salary of actress Mary Pickford rose from less than $400 a week in 1914 to $10,000 a week in 1916. This action made Griffith believe the big potential in the movie industry. Thus many competitors completely copy the same system as Griffith used, for the considerable profits. Additionally, they also study the theory and methods which Griffith suggested.
C. From the moment America entered the war, Hollywood feared that the industry would be subject to heavy-handed government censorship. But the government itself wanted no repeat of World War I, when the Committee on Public Information had whipped up anti-German hysteria and oversold the war as “a Crusade not merely to re-win the tomb of Christ, but to bring back to earth the rule of right, the peace, goodwill to men and gentleness he taught.”
D. The formation of the movie trust ushered in a period of rationalization within the film industry. Camera and projecting equipment were standardized; film rental fees were fixed; theaters were upgraded; which improved the quality of movies by removing damaged prints from circulation. This was also a period of intense artistic and technical innovation, as pioneering directors like David Wark Griffith and others created a new language of film and revolutionized screen narrative.
E. With just six months of film experience, Griffith, a former stage actor, was hired as a director by the Biograph Company and promised $50 a week and one-twentieth of a cent for every foot of film sold to a rental exchange. Each week, Griffith turned out two or three one-reelers. While earlier directors had used such cinematic devices as close-ups, slow motion, fade-ins and fade-outs, lighting effects, and editing before, Griffith’s great contribution to the movie industry was to show how these techniques could be used to create a wholly new style of storytelling, distinct from the theater. Griffith’s approach to movie storytelling has been aptly called “photographic realism.” This is not to say that he merely wished to record a story accurately; rather he sought to convey the illusion of realism. He demanded that his performers act less in a more lifelike manner, avoiding the broad, exaggerated gestures and pantomiming of emotions that characterized the nineteenth-century stage. He wanted his performers to take on a role rather than directly addressing the camera.
Above all, he used close-ups, lighting, editing, and other cinematic techniques convey suspense and other emotions and to focus the audience’s attention on individual performers.
F. During the 1920s and 1930s, a small group of film companies consolidated their control. Known as the “Big Five” – Paramount, Warner Brothers, RKO, 20th Century-Fox, and Lowe’s (MGM) and the “Little Three” – Universal, Columbia, and United Artists, they formed fully integrated companies. The old film company’s opposition was shocked by new tycoons. The confusion of tongues in the foreign version of American films deepened when American directors themselves embarked on the shooting of the new version. They did not usually speak Spanish (or the given target language) and, at that time, there were only a few translators at the studio’s disposal. For this reason, it was more general to contract Spanish directors, actors, and screenwriters to produce American films in Spanish for Latin American audiences and for the public in the Iberian Peninsula. Hollywood had depended on overseas markets for as much as 40 percent of its revenue. But in an effort to nurture their own film industries and prevent an excessive outflow of dollars, Britain, France, and Italy imposed stiff import tariffs and restrictive quotas on imported American movies.
G. A basic problem facing today’s Hollywood is the rapidly rising cost of making and marketing a movie: an average of $40 million today. The immense cost of producing movies has led the studios to seek guaranteed hits: blockbuster loaded with hightech special effects, sequels, and remakes of earlier movies, foreign films, and even old TV shows. Hollywood has also sought to cope with rising costs by focusing ever more intently on its core audiences. Since the mid-1980s, the movie-going audience has continued to decrease in size. Ticket sales fell from 1.2 billion in 1983 to 950 million in 1992, with the biggest drop occurring among adults. And since over half of Hollywood’s profits are earned overseas, the target market has to be changed due to the increasing costs and salary of making a film. The industry has concentrated much of its energy on crude action films easily understood by an international audience, featuring stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
II. Hướng dẫn cách làm
1. Questions 14-19:
The Reading Passage has 7 paragraphs A-G.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
List of Headings
i. Detailed description for a film system
ii. Griffith’s contribution to American films
iii. The gender in the development of American film
iv. Change the view of the American movie
v. People’s reaction to making movies in the war period
vi. The increasing market of the film in society
vii. Griffith improved gender recognition in society
14. Paragraph A
15. Paragraph B
16. Paragraph C
17. Paragraph D
18. Paragraph E
19. Paragraph F
i. Mô tả chi tiết cho một hệ thống phim
ii. Đóng góp của Griffith cho phim Mỹ
iii. Giới trong sự phát triển của phim Mỹ
iv. Thay đổi cách nhìn của phim đam mỹ
v. Phản ứng của mọi người đối với việc làm phim trong thời kỳ chiến tranh
vi. Thị trường điện ảnh ngày càng tăng trong xã hội
vii. Griffith cải thiện sự công nhận về giới trong xã hội
2. Questions 20-23: Match each researcher with the correct finding
IELTS TUTOR lưu ý:
- Dạng matching information câu hỏi sẽ không đi theo thứ tự bài đọc. Dạng này thuộc dạng khó nên hãy để làm cuối cùng (Tham khảo thêm Trong 12 Dạng câu hỏi IELTS Reading: dạng nào theo thứ tự ...)
A. old company’s opposition
B. huge drop happens among adults
C. the pressure to change its market
D. completely copy his system
20. Griffith’s successful in the 1910s, led his rivals
21. The growing costs and salary in Hollywood which shows it has
22. The increasing new movie industries have a big impact on
23. In 1992, ticket sales declined dramatically, due to
3. Questions 24 - 26
IELTS TUTOR lưu ý:
- Xem lại Cách làm dạng Multiple Choice IELTS READING
- Dạng Multiple choice câu hỏi sẽ đi theo thứ tự bài đọc (Tham khảo thêm Trong 12 Dạng câu hỏi IELTS Reading: dạng nào theo thứ tự ...)
24. Why Griffith believe the potential in making movies?
A. The gender development in American films
B. He used the star system successfully
C. He prefers advanced movie techniques
D. He earns lots of money
IELTS TUTOR dịch câu hỏi:
- Tại sao Griffith tin vào tiềm năng làm phim?
- A. Sự phát triển giới tính trong phim Mỹ
- B. Anh ấy đã sử dụng thành công hệ thống sao
- C. Anh ấy thích các kỹ xảo điện ảnh tiên tiến
- D. Anh ấy kiếm được rất nhiều tiền
25. What is other competitors’ reaction to Griffith?
A. Adopt Griffith’s theory and methods in making films
B. Complete copy his theory and methods
C. Try to catch up with their innovations
D. Find a new system against Griffith
IELTS TUTOR dịch câu hỏi:
- Phản ứng của các đối thủ khác đối với Griffith là gì?
- A. Áp dụng lý thuyết và phương pháp của Griffith trong việc làm phim
- B. Sao chép hoàn chỉnh lý thuyết và phương pháp của anh ấy
- C. Cố gắng bắt kịp những đổi mới của họ
- D. Tìm một hệ thống mới chống lại Griffith
IELTS TUTOR lưu ý từ mới trong câu hỏi:
- reaction (n) phản ứng >> IELTS TUTOR hướng dẫn Cách dùng danh từ "reaction" tiếng anh
- Adopt (v) áp dụng >> IELTS TUTOR hướng dẫn Cách dùng động từ "adopt" tiếng anh
- catch up with (v) đuổi kịp >> IELTS TUTOR hướng dẫn Giải thích idiom "catch up" tiếng anh
- against: chống lại >> IELTS TUTOR hướng dẫn Cách dùng giới từ AGAINST tiếng anh
26. What is the great change in films industries during the 1920s and 1930s?
A. Try to seek the high-tech special efforts
B. Dismiss the needs of overseas audiences
C. Changed its goal market
D. Improved the foreign version of American movies
IELTS TUTOR dịch câu hỏi:
- Sự thay đổi lớn trong ngành công nghiệp điện ảnh trong những năm 1920 và 1930 là gì?
- A. Cố gắng tìm kiếm những nỗ lực đặc biệt về công nghệ cao
- B. Loại bỏ nhu cầu của khán giả ở nước ngoài
- C. Thay đổi thị trường mục tiêu
- D. Cải tiến phiên bản nước ngoài của phim Mỹ