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Unit2 Background Information ——《21世纪研究生英语教材阅读教程》下册  

2012-03-09 23:40:38|  分类: Unit2《21世纪研 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Unit 2 Top 10 Most Controversial Movies

1. The Passion of the Christ

v     The Passion of the Christ is a 2004 American drama film directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ. It depicts the Passion of Jesus largely according to the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

v     The Passion of the Christ covers the final 12 hours of Jesus' life beginning with the Agony in the Garden and ending with a brief depiction of his resurrection. Flashbacks of Jesus as a child and as a young man with his mother, giving the Sermon on the Mount, teaching the Twelve Apostles, and at the Last Supper are also included. The dialogue is entirely in reconstructed Aramaic and Latin with vernacular subtitles.

v     The film was a major commercial hit, grossing in excess of $600 million during its theatrical release, becoming the highest grossing non-English language film of all time. The film has also been highly controversial and received mixed reviews, with some critics claiming that the extreme violence in the movie "obscures its message." Catholic sources have questioned the authenticity of the non-biblical material the film drew on.

Nazareth

v     a historic town in northern Israel that is, in the New Testament, described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage.

the Garden of Gethsemane

v       Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

v     According to the New Testament it was a place that Jesus and his disciples customarily visited, which allowed Judas to find him on the night of his arrest.

The Last Supper

v     The Last Supper, in the New Testament, is the final meal that, according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with His Apostles after the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and encounters with various people and the Jewish elders, and arrested and then crucified. During the meal Jesus predicts his betrayal by one of the disciples present.

Satan

v     Satan, "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible.

v     In Christianity the title became a personal name, and "Satan" changed from an accuser appointed by God to test men's faith to the chief of the rebellious fallen angels.

v     The most common English synonym for "Satan" is "Devil"

v     Satan is traditionally identified as the serpent who convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit; thus, Satan has often been depicted as a serpent.

Judas

v     Judas Iscariot (died April 29–33 C.E.)

v     In the New Testament, he is one of the twelve original Apostles of Jesus, infamously known as the betrayer of Christ, for a sum of 30 silver pieces by identifying him with a kiss to arresting soldiers of the High Priest Caiphas, who then turned Jesus over to Roman soldiers.

v     He eventually committed suicide after realizing his mistake. He is depicted as being impulsive, tormented by greed, and unable to understand Jesus' message.

Jerusalem

v     Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

v     Located in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea.

v     Jerusalem is a holy city to the three major Abrahamic religions— Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Pharisees

v     The Pharisees were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews during the Second Temple period.

Jesus

v     Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC/BCE to 30–36 AD/CE)

v     Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity and is also regarded as an important prophet of God in Islam.

v     The majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

v     Christians traditionally believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, performed miracles, founded the Church, died sacrificially to achieve atonement, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, from which he will return.

The major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus

v     Nativity

v     Baptism

v     Temptation

v     Disciples

v     Ministry

v     Sermons

v     Parables

v     Miracles

v     Last Supper

v     Passion

v       Resurrection

v     Ascension

Gospels

v     A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. According to the bible, the "Gospel", is also defined as the "Word" that comes from God.

v     In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Mel Gibson

v     Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, (born 3 January 1956) is an American Australian actor, film director, producer and screenwriter. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art.

v     After appearing in the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon series, Gibson went on to direct and star in the Academy Award-winning Braveheart. In 2004, he directed and produced The Passion of the Christ, a film portraying the last hours in the life of Jesus.

v     Braveheart (1995)

v     Mel Gibson directed, produced, and starred in Braveheart, a movie telling of the legend of Sir William Wallace, a 13th century Scottish patriotic warrior, who gained recognition when he came to the forefront of the First War of Scottish Independence by opposing King Edward I of England. Braveheart influenced the Scottish nationalist movement and helped to revive the film genre of the historical epic.

v     The film won five Academy Awards at the 68th Academy Awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director, and was nominated for an additional five.

v     Apocalypto (2006)

v     Apocalypto Gibson received further critical acclaim for his directing of the 2006 action-adventure film Apocalypto. Gibson's fourth directorial effort is set in Mesoamerica during the early 16th century against the turbulent end times of a Maya civilization. The sparse dialogue is spoken in the Yucatec Maya language by a cast of Native American descent.

v     A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. ——  Will Durant

2. A Clockwork Orange

v     Movie

v     It was written, directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. It features disturbing, violent images, facilitating its social commentary on psychiatry, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopian, future Britain. 

v     Novel

v     It is a 1971 film adaptation of Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel of the same name, which was ranked 65th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library.

aversion therapy

v     Aversion therapy is a form of psychological treatment that uses unpleasant stimuli in a controlled fashion to alter behavior in a therapeutic way; primarily used for alcoholism or drug abuse.

Film-rating system

v     X rating

v     In some countries, X is or has been a motion picture rating reserved for the most explicit films. Films rated X are intended only for viewing by adults, usually legally defined as people over the age of 18.

v     Film-rating system

v     The Motion Picture Association of America's film-rating system is used in the U.S. and its territories to rate a film's thematic and content suitability for certain audiences and help parents decide what movies are appropriate for their children.

v     If a film is not submitted for rating, the label NR (Not Rated) or UR (Unrated) is often used.

v     Five Ratings

v     G- General Audiences

v     PG- Parental Guidance Suggested

v     PG-13- Parents Strongly Cautioned

v     R- Restricted

v     NC-17- No One 17 and Under Admitted

3. Fahrenheit 9/11

v     It is a 2004 documentary film by American filmmaker and political commentator Michael Moore. The film takes a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and its coverage in the news media.

v     It ridicules President Bush. Bush's multitude of (alleged) sins, including the alliance between the Bush clan and Saudi Arabia and botched chances to prevent 9/11.

v     The film is the highest grossing documentary of all time.

v     This film has the distinction of winning a top prize called the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival.

4. JFK

v     JFK-- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

v     The true story of how New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) investigated conspiracy theories about President Kennedy's assassination.

v     The film became embroiled in controversy. Upon JFK's theatrical release, many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing Stone of taking liberties with historical facts.

v     JFK went on to win two Academy Awards and was nominated for eight in total, including Best Picture.

v       One result: a 1992 congressional act to release classified documents.

JFK (John F. Kennedy)

v     (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.

v     Kennedy is the only Catholic president, and is the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize. Events during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement, and early stages of the Vietnam War.

v     Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the crime, but was shot and killed two days later by Jack Ruby before a trial could take place. The FBI, the Warren Commission, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin, with the HSCA allowing for the possibility of conspiracy based on disputed acoustic evidence. Today, Kennedy continues to rank highly in public opinion ratings of former U.S. presidents.

Excerpted from the Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy

v     For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

v     Now the trumpet summons us again … a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation," a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

v     In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it.

v     And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

5. The Last Temptation of Christ

v     THE PLOT Jesus (Willem Dafoe) pursues his calling but, in a Satan-induced hallucination, dreams of a normal life that includes sex with Mary Magdalene.

v     Released in 1988, this film The Last Temptation of Christ is a 1988 drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director.

v     The film depicts the life of Jesus Christ and his struggle with various forms of temptation including fear, doubt, depression, reluctance and lust. It was protested by most Christian denominations for portraying Jesus as a flawed man plagued by self-doubt.

Mary Magdalene

v     All four gospels refer to a follower of Jesus called Mary Magdalene, the most important woman disciple in the movement of Jesus, and it is usually assumed that this means “Mary

v     Mary Magdalene is considered to be a saint, with a feast day of July 22.

Universal Pictures

v     a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios.

v     Founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, it is the oldest American movie studio that is still in continuous production; the next oldest is Paramount Pictures

Blockbuster LLC

v     is an American-based provider of home video and video game rental services.

6. The Birth of a Nation

v     The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith.

v     The film chronicles the relationship of two families in Civil War and Reconstruction-era America: the pro-Union Northern Stonemans and the pro-Confederacy Southern Camerons over the course of several years. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln is dramatized.

v     The film was a major commercial success, but was highly controversial owing to its portrayal of African American men as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women, and the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan as a heroic force.

v     Most agree that the film, which depicts two families during the Civil War, is extremely important in a historical and cinematic sense. Attempts to ban the film were unsuccessful.

v     It again stirred new controversy in 1993, when it was voted as one of the top 100 American films.

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

v     The assassination took place on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, as the American Civil War was drawing to a close.

v     But six days after the surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee, Lincoln was assassinated by the Confederate sympathizer and well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth.

v     Lincoln was shot while watching the play Our American Cousin with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on the night of April 14, 1865. He died early the next morning.

Ku Klux Klan

vKKK, a secret society of white Southerners in the U.S., was formed on Dec 24, 1865 to resist the emancipation of slaves; used terrorist tactics to suppress Black people.

vIt is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically expressed through terrorism. Since the mid-20th century, it has also been anti-communist. The current manifestation is splintered into several chapters and is classified as a hate group.

NAACP

v     abbr. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

v     is an African-American civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909.

v     Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination”.

7. Natural Born Killers

v     It is a 1994 American crime/black comedy film about two victims of traumatic childhoods who became lovers and serial killers, and are irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

v     This film was called one of the best films of the 1990s by many, but also was criticized as loathsome and evil. The scenes in the film are said by some to be too graphic, violent and disturbing. In the UK, the public screening was delayed because the film inspired similar shooting sprees in the US.

8. Last Tango in Paris

v     Last Tango in Paris is a 1972 Italian romantic drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci which portrays a middle-aged American expatriate Paul reeling from his wife's suicide and entering into a sexual relationship with a young engaged Parisian woman named Jeanne. Their relationship affects their lives deeply.  

v     Marlon Brando received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Bernardo Bertolucci was nominated for Best Director.

v     But the film's portrayal of sexual violence and emotional turmoil led to international controversy and drew various levels of government censorship.

v     The MPAA gave the film an X rating upon release in the United States. After revisions were made to the MPAA ratings code, it was classified as an NC-17 in 1997.

9. The Deer Hunter

v     The Deer Hunter is a 1978 film directed and co-written by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steel worker friends and their infantry service in the Vietnam War. The scenes of Russian roulette were highly controversial on release.

v     The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director and was named by the American Film Institute as the 53rd Greatest Movie of All Time on the 10th Anniversary Edition of the AFI's 100 Years.

Russian roulette

v     Russian roulette is a lethal game of chance in which participants spin the cylinder of a revolver that is loaded with only one bullet and then point the muzzle at their head and pull the trigger.

v     Russian refers to the supposed country of origin, and roulette to the element of risk-taking and the spinning of the revolver's cylinder being reminiscent of spinning a roulette wheel.

10. The Da Vinci Code

v     The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 motion picture directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.

v     In the film, the primary protagonist, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious iconography and symbology from Harvard University is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. He escapes with the assistance of a police cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and they are embroiled in a quest for the legendary Holy Grail. He is pursued by a dogged French police captain, Bezu Fache. A noted British Grail historian, Sir Leigh Teabing, tells them the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo Da Vinci's wall painting, the Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wishes to keep the true Grail a secret; the revelation of this secret would certainly destroy Christianity.

v     The Da Vinci Code film, like the book, was considered controversial. It was met with especially harsh criticism by the Roman Catholic Church for the accusation that it is behind a two-thousand-year-old coverup concerning what the Holy Grail really is and the concept that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and that the union produced a daughter.

v     Many members urged the laity to boycott the film upon its release on May 19, 2006. However, this did little to hamper its box office performance; it earned $230 million in its opening weekend and was the highest-grossing film of 2006(Budget $125 million Box office $758,239,851).

Dan Brown

v     Dan Brown (born June 22, 1964) is an American author of thriller fiction. Brown's novels, which are treasure hunts set in a 24-hour time period, feature the recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories.

v     His books have been translated into over 40 languages, and as of 2009, sold over 80 million copies. Two of them, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, have been adapted into feature films.

v     Novels

?     Digital Fortress, 1998

?     Angels & Demons, 2000

?     Deception Point, 2001

?     The Da Vinci Code, 2003

?     The Lost Symbol, 2009

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks

v     Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks is known for his roles as Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia and as the title character in Forrest Gump, roles which won him two consecutive Academy Awards for Best Actor. Hanks is also known for his Oscar nominated roles in Big, Saving Private Ryan and Cast Away.

v     Hanks' other acting roles include Apollo 13 as Jim Lovell, The Green Mile as Paul Edgecomb, Toy Story as Woody and Charlie Wilson's War as Charlie Wilson.

v     Tom Hanks Movies:

v     Forrest Gump

v     Apollo 13

v     Saving Private Ryan

v     A League Of Their Own

v     Sleepless in Seattle

v     You've Got Mail

v     Big

v     Turner & Hooch

v     The Da Vinci Code

v     Cast Away

v     Philadelphia

v     That Thing You Do

v     The Terminal

v     The Green Mile

v     Angels And Demons
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