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上一篇:托福备考第40天——TPO口语材料分析(TPO51)(学术场景Academic Lecture)



Listen to part of lecture in a film history class.

Professor: Okay, we've been discussing films in the 1920s and 30s, and how back then film categories, as we know them today, had not yet been established. We said that by today's standards, many of the films of the 20s and 30s would be considered hybrids, that is, a mixture of styles that wouldn't exactly fit into any of today's categories, and in that context.

Today we are going to talk about a film-maker who began making very unique films in the late 1920s. He was French, and his name was Jean Painlevé. Jean Painleve was born in 1902.  He made his first film in 1928. Now in a way, Painleve's films conform to norms of the 20s and 30s , that is, they don't fit very neatly into the categories we use to classify films today. That said, even by the standards of the 20s and 30s, Painleve's fims were unique, a hybrid of styles.

He had a special way of fusing, or some people might say confusing, science and fiction. His films begin with facts, but then they become more and more fictional. They gradually add more and more fictional elements. In fact, Painleve was known for saying that science is fiction.

Painleve was a pioneer in underwater film-making, and a lot of his short films focused on the aquatic animal world. He liked to show small underwater creatures, displaying what seemed like familiar human characteristics - what we think of as unique to humans. He might take a clip of a mollusk going up and down in the water and set it to music.

You know, to make it look like the molltusk were dancing to the music like a human being - that sort of thing. But then he suddenly changed the image or narration to remind us how different the animals are, how unlike humans. He confused his audience in the way he portrayed the animals he filmed, mixing up on notions of the categories of humans and animals.

The films make us a little uncomfortable at times because we are uncertain about what we are seeing. lt gives him films an uncanny feature: the familiar made unfamiliar, the normal made suspicious. He liked twists, he liked the unusual. In fact, one of his favorite sea animals was the seahorse because with seahorses, it's the male that carries the eggs, and he thought that was great. His first and most celebrated underwater film is about the seahorse. Susan, you have a question?

Student 1: But underwater film-making wasn't that unusual, was it? l mean, weren't there other people making movies underwater?

Professor: Well, actually, it was pretty rare at that time. l mean, we are talking about the early 1920s.

Student 1: But what about Jacques Cousteau? Was he like an innovator, you know, with underwater photography too?

Professor. Ah, Jacques Cousteau. Well, Painleve and Cousteau did both film underwater, and they were both innovators, so you are right in that sense. But that's pretty much where the similarities end. First of all, Painleve was about 20 years ahead of Cousteau.

And Cousteau's adventures were high-tech, with lots of fancy equipment, whereas Painleve kind of patched the equipment together as he needed it. Cousteau usually filmed large animals, usually in the open sea, whereas Painleve generally filmed smaller animals, and he liked to film in shallow water.

Uh, what else , oh well, the main difference was that Cousteau simply investigated and presented the facts - he didn't mix in fiction. He was a strict documentarist. He set the standard really for the nature documentary. Painlevé, on the other hand, as we said before, mixed in elements of fiction. And his fims are much more artistic, incorporating music as an important element. John, you have a question?

Student 2: Well, maybe I shouldn't be asking this, but if Painlevé's flms are so special, so good, why haven't we ever heard of them? l mean, everyone's heard of Jacques Cousteau.

Professor: Well, that's a fair question.Uh, the short answer is that Painlevé's style just never caught on with the public. I mean, it probably goes back at least in part to where we mentioned earlier, that people didn't know what to make of his films - they were confused by them, whereas Cousteau's documentaries were very straightforward, met people's expectations more than Painleve's films did. But you are true film history is about what we know about them. And Painleve is still highly respected in many circles.


本lecture讲述了有关film的制作history,主要提到Jean Painlevé这个人Jean Painlevé在很多圈子都受到尊敬,因为他是先驱者,在1920s那个还没有明确分类film categories的年代,他的风格非常特别,一开始是基于fact的,慢慢地变得fictional了,然后他的影片正常是那种混合状态的,你无法把它归类为哪种影片。但是这个Jean Painlevé远没有Jacques Cousteau出名,因为他的制片风格大抵是不符合当时大众的期望。而Jacques Cousteau是一个非常严谨、有规范的制片人,所以他的影片名声大噪。

Jacques Cousteau的这种simply investigated and presented the facts在当时是非常受欢迎的,需要提醒的一点是Jean Painlevé实际上比Jacques Cousteau要早20年。


  • norms 规范
  • neatly 整齐地
  • fusing 融合
  • confusing 使糊涂;使迷惑;(将…)混淆,混同;使更难于理解
  • fictional 虚构的
  • fictional elements 虚构的元素
  • pioneer 先驱
  • aquatic animals 水生动物
  • creatures 生物
  • molltusk 软体动物
  • narration 叙述
  • portrayed 描绘
  • notions 观念
  • suspicious 可疑的
  • innovator 创新者
  • investigate 调查


  • science is fiction 科学是虚构的
  • a clip of a mollusk  软体动物的剪辑
  • uncanny 不可思议的
  • Well, that's a fair question. 

-- It's slightly similiar to that's a good question. Depending on the context, It usually means That's a reasonable question.

  • what to make of his films

人们并不知道他的作品讲的什么(what to make≈讲的什么?)




This article was last edited at 2021-03-07 01:42:54

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