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Talk about Hollywood and the epics produced there in the 1930s and 1940s.
Everything we read about the great days of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s seems like an exaggeration. The studios always said their films were super, colossal, fabulous or fantastic. They spent vast sums of money but made very good films. But when we discover what the people in charge of the studios were like, it is surprising that they made only good films at all.
Almost of all the owners of the big film companies had been small businessmen who developed the Hollywood philosophy of “the bigger, the better”, believing that the more money they spent, the greater the profit they would make. They owned the production companies and the cinemas as well as the studios, so they were so powerful that no one could make a successful film without them. But in private life they were ignorant, unattractive people, and their employers thought they were monsters. Everyone hated Louis Mayer so much that when someone asked his former partner why so many people had come to his funeral, he said that they wanted to make sure he had dead.
The films that cost most money were epics, like Samson and Delilah. For this film, the company had cast a massive actor called Victor Mature as Samson, but he was not as brave as he looked. He was afraid of the tame lion his stand-in had to fight; he was afraid of the imitation swords in the battle scenes; he ran away from the studio wind machine. So Mille called the entire cast of the film together and said to Mature that in 35 years of making films, he was the first 100 per cent coward he had ever met.
Gone with the Wind was the most expensive picture made at this time. The studio interviewed 1400 people for the part of Scarlet O’Hara, the heroine. They made so many screen tests that the test film was almost as long as Gone with the Wind itself. In the end, David Selznick had to start filming the burning of Atlanta, which cost thousands of dollars without having found the right actress. While he was shooting the scene, his brother, an actors’ agent, arrived with one of his clients, Vivien Leigh who got the part.
Vivien Leigh won the Oscar for her outstanding performances and deserved it. Even Samson and Delilah made a profit at the box office. But all the previous screen tests for Gone with the Wind must have seemed an awful waste of money, and there must have been thousands of strong, handsome actors who could have played the part of Samson without being frightened of the wind machine. Epics encouraged extravagance, but they very seldom gave value for money even when they made a profit.
7. Talk about the language of Shakespeare and the difficulties of presenting Shakespeare’s characters to a modern audience.
For any Englishman, there can never be any discussion as to who is the world’s greatest poet and greatest dramatist. Only one name can possibly suggest itself to him: that of William Shakespeare. Every Englishman has some knowledge, however slight, of the work of their greatest writer. All of us use words, phrases and quotations from Shakespeare’s writings that have become part of the common property of English-speaking people. Most of time we are probably unaware of the source of the words we use, rather like the old lady who was taken to see a performance of hamlet and complains that it was full of well-known proverbs and quotations!
Shakespeare, more perhaps than any other writer, made full use of the great resources of the English language. most of us use about five thousand words in our employment of English; Shakespeare in his works used about 25 thousand! There is probably no better way for a foreigner to appreciate the richness and variety of the English language than by studying the various ways in which Shakespeare uses it. Such a study is well worth the effort, even though some aspects of English usage, and the meaning of many words, have changed since Shakespeare’s day.
That is why many stage directors find it difficult to put Shakespeare’s plays on the stage. When people are from Great Britain, all of them native speakers of English, and they are presenting their work in the main part to people who are not, they can be prey to many fears. It is difficult for them to try to understand how perceptions of this play and their presentation of it will differ in the various places they will visit; it is a great stretch to their collective imagination to try to think their way into different cultures, different values, different preconceptions.
This process is difficult, but rewarding. They have to question how they themselves see Shakespeare, and how they go about accessing his work. For although they are British, the language of Shakespeare is still not their own and is still foreign to them. Although they often blithely commend him as universal, everybody knows that making Shakespeare work for a modern English-speaking audience requires great thought and effort. So in preparations for presenting a play abroad, they have to look further within the text, and within themselves, to try to grasp the essence of the play and to bring it out in a way that does not require a British sensibility to comprehend it, but which appeals to all.
8. Describe an English journalist’s impressions of traveling through the vast spaces of Russia, China and Mongolia.
It’s no wonder that train are a literary genre all in their own. Writers from Graham Green to Agatha Christie realized that there is nothing quite like curtained sleeping compartments to quicken the narrative pulse. To board a train that crosses countries and continents is to feel that anything might happen.
From the first days of the journey on board a Trans-Siberian Express the journalist was fascinated by the changing countryside by his first-class compartment which has the air of a slightly down-at hell gentlemen’s club. The scale of the Trans-Siberian the greatest of rail journeys, is difficult to comprehend.
Food in the dining car was adequate, if uninspired. But the best food was to be found at the station where the train made scheduled stops.
The town they passed were a blur of smoking chimneys and grey apartment blocks. They ratted across wild rivers and climbed into the Urals. But the very easy journey began to betray the journalist. He read, slept, ate beginning to forget who he was.
Than they crossed into Mongolia. For miles they saw nothing then 2 or 3 yurts, a herd of horse grazing, a woman tending a flock of black goats.
In the Gobi desert the grass grew sparser, the red son blew away in the wind. But in China everything was man-made, every inch of land was cultivated.
At Peking they came to half and emerged blinking into a real world again. In Chine the journalist was said to leave the train. For a week it had been home, secure and familiar.
9. The ethical and cultural heritage of the Bible: Christian virtues as described in the Bible and their eternal values.
To become a real Christian one must obtain certain qualities of mind and heart, which are called Christian virtues. All our human virtues are the reflection of the qualities of the Creator, in whose image we were made. The main Christian virtues are: love, faith, hope, humility, patience, meekness, self-control.
Love is sure the most important of all Christian virtues. The first and the greatest commandment of God is that His creation must love Him. Secondly you should love your neighbour as yourself. However, it is only natural that you should love your friends, but you should also love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse and pray for those who spitefully use you.
Faith is the source of wisdom, strength and all virtues. man was made to believe in God. Unbelief is a perversion of human nature, the source of all evil things. With faith one can do anything for all things are possible to him who believes.
Hope is inseparable from faith. It is inspired by things unseen because hope that is seen is not hope. We are saved in hope. Despondency is a deadly thing because it actually means lack of faith in God. So, we should always rejoice in hope and not grow weary in doing good.
Humidity is the mother of all virtues. Humidity is not weakness, but a godlike quality, for God Himself, in all his greatness, is humble, becoming a slave to all and taking upon Himself the sins of the world.
God wants us to obey the authorities, the existing laws, our parents. Therefore, whoever resists the authority, resists the ordinance of God. IT is really hard to become humble, because we are always tempted in our pride.
Patience is another virtue. By your patience posses your souls. A man should never complain and God will give him strength to bear the trial.
Meekness is a spiritual quality which shouldn’t be mixed up with cowardice. Bless those who persecute you. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Self-control is a spiritual power over ones flesh. One can’t rely on oneself in obtaining self-control, but one must ask God for it in one’s prayer.
10. The ethical and cultural heritage of the Bible: sins and struggle with them as described in the Bible.
One must be very careful about what is happening to him spiritually, because we are constantly tempted by Satan. You can easily recognize his work: pride, despondency, envy, hatred are from him.
Of all sins there are some that are called “deadly sins” because they are especially ruinous for one’s soul. They are: pride, covetousness, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, sloth.
Pride is the greatest sin in the eye of God. God resists the proud but gives His grace to the humble. Our human reason is not wise before God. So, if you are proud, you will be judged by God.
Moreover you depend on God for success in your life, in your work.
Covetousness is the love for money which is the root of all kind of evil. We have brought nothing into this world, and it is certain, we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we should be content, But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. So, you can see that being content with what you have is a great gain, which helps you to depart from evil.
If you have envy in your heart you can’t be called wise. The root of envy is hatred and lies. For those who envy, hell begins on the earth, because this passion dries up your heart, humiliates you and leads you to destruction.
We also should avoid gluttony and anger.
And sloth is one of the most widespread sins. Any kind of sloth is loathsome to God. A lot of sins are forgiven to you if you take pains to do your work properly. God promises a reward to those who work hard.
If you want your sins to be forgiven you mast repent but it is also important to know that sin is not only one’s private matter.
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