CAE тест онлайн: Чтение и практика (Часть 8)
Вы прочтете обзоры четырех фантастических фильмов. По вопросам 47–56 выберите правильный обзор (A – D). Обзоры можно выбирать более одного раза.
You are going to read reviews of four science fiction films. For questions 47 – 56, choose from the reviews
(A – D). The reviews may be chosen more than once. Mark your answers on the separate answer sheet.
Great science fiction films
Terry Stevens reviews four great science fiction films.
Blade Runner (1982)
Whether you prefer the original, rather theatrical release or the director’s cut of a few years later, Blade Runner is perennially placed in opinion polls among the top five movies ever made in the genre. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film revolves around Harrison Ford’s policeman, Rick Deckard, and his hunt for four cloned humans, known as replicants, in an authoritarian city state sometime in the future. Replicants have been declared illegal and Deckard is a ‘blade runner’, a specialist in exterminating them. Adding to the interest is the issue of whether Deckard himself is a replicant. This is never clearly resolved in the film, and fans continue to disagree over this point. When it first came out, the reception was muted, but it has grown in popularity and critics now lavish praise on it. ‘It was groundbreaking in some ways,’ says one prominent American writer on film, ‘but what it’s really about is something we’ve been interested in since the beginning of history: What is it to be human? That’s what makes it truly great.’
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
One of the most controversial films of any genre, 2001: A Space Odyssey came from a collaboration between the director, Stanley Kubrick, and the science fiction writer, Arthur C Clarke. It’s not an easy film to sum up. The plot is mostly beside the point. It involves a government cover-up of something called the Monolith, and a malfunctioning computer’s efforts to preserve the integrity of a space mission. Almost independently of this are separate strands dealing with human evolution from prehistoric times to the space age. Many have attempted to try and pin down this work with explanations about its deeper significance and purpose, and to this day there are heated exchanges about this. What stays in the mind, though, is the impact the film has on the senses. It has a soundtrack of often dissonant classical music played so loud that it often interferes with what characters say. It is its astonishing visual style, however, that has probably had more lasting influence than anything else about it.
Star Wars (1977)
It is almost impossible to argue against the inclusion of Star Wars or its rather darker sequel Empire Strikes Back, in any list of top science fiction movies. Essentially westerns set in space, they cover the universal themes of good versus evil, while making the leading actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher deliver lines of mind-boggling absurdity on a regular basis. The epic saga revolves around a battle between an authoritarian Empire led by the Emperor and his part-human, partmachine henchman Darth Vader on one side, and a small group of rebels on the other. The emphasis, however, is not on exploring deeper problems of the human condition. Nor, unlike some film-makers, do the creators of Star Wars trouble themselves with rooting their creations in the normal laws of physics; the force-wielding Jedi fight with theoretically impossible light sabers and light-speed travel takes place in an implausible ‘hyperspace’. But the first two Star Wars films have been the supreme blockbusters and paved the way in creating franchises for toys, games and replicas that no major science fiction film can do without nowadays.
Alien is often remembered for the moment when an alien creature bursts out through the chest of one of the crew members on the spaceship. This iconic moment has the power to unnerve even the most cynical of contemporary audiences. The film has a lot more to it than that however. It is essentially an expertly made horror story set on board a spaceship. The alien life form which invades the spaceship is very sinister but it is made all the more so by the contrast with the portrayal of the ship’s crew. They are a bunch of very average people who sit around eating pizza, playing cards and getting bored. This contrast between the crew’s very mundane existence and the sheer awfulness of the alien is a very powerful one. Very striking too is Sigourney Weaver’s portrayal of the reluctant hero Ellen Ripley. She is a compelling screen presence in this movie and it established her as one of the top film actresses of her time.