Part 1 – Introduction & Interview
[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Songs and singing
Q. Did you enjoy singing when you were younger? [Why?/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I did enjoy singing when I was younger because it helped me to have fun and feel better when I needed to give a lift to my mood. Besides, I had a really good voice, when I was younger (in fact, I would participate in school singing competition), and I thought, I could also become a good singer.
Q. How often do you sing now? [Why?]
Answer: Unfortunately, I don’t really sing very often these days. In fact, I can’t even remember when the last time I sang, and it’s primarily because I don’t really have a good voice today that I used to have when I was younger. Besides, life has become much more complicated these days where it is just not easy to get into the mood of singing. But, sometimes I hum and sing a few lines of my favourite songs when I listen to music in my room alone.
Q. Do you have a favourite song you like listening to? [Why?/Why not?]
Answer: One favourite song, which I like to listen to, is a very romantic song, from an old Bengali movie called “Pitch Dhala path” (Bitumen Paved Road), with the title “male bee whispering in the ears of a flower”. I like this song because it touches the romantic cords of my heart repeatedly, and it has some really great and original lyrics.
Q. How important is singing in your culture? [Why?]
Answer: As in any other culture, singing is an important part of my culture as well primarily because it helps us express our feelings and emotions unlike anything else. Besides, any cultural functions or gatherings, unless they are strictly religious, in my country are considered to be “incomplete” without any singing acts.
Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card
[The topic for your talk will be written on a card which the examiner will hand you. Read it carefully and then make some brief notes.]
Describe a film/movie actor/actress from your country who is very popular.
You should say:
- who this actor or actress is/was
- what kinds of films/movies he/she acts/acted in
- what you know about the life of this actor/actress
and explain why this actor/actress is/was so popular in your country.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
When he was born in a very little known suburb of Calcutta in 1942, no one exactly had any reason to believe that he would become the greatest Bangladeshi film actor of all time. His name is “Razzak”. Having started his film career in 1966 in a film called “Behula” (named after a “lady” considered to be the epitome of love and sacrifice in a mythological story), the legendary actor has worked in all kinds of movies including drama, romance, action, comedy and fantasy.
Being referred as “Nayak Raj” (King of the actors) in the Bangladeshi film industry, the actor has performed brilliantly, eclipsing all of his contemporary actors and actresses, in all kinds of movies by exceeding all kinds of expectations. In fact, Razzak is the only actor in Bangladeshi film history who has won Bangladesh National Film Award for best actor five times in his 50 years’ acting career.
Razzak’s powerful acting and good looks made him arguably the most famous and popular actor in Bangladesh. He is not just an actor, but also a film director and producer. I am no movie critique, but what I understand from watching some of his famous movies, Razzak’s acting demands some artistic reverence without which one probably wouldn’t be able to understand that even his “body language” offers more dialogues than his speech itself. Besides, the actor has an extraordinary ability to blend in any kind of acting so easily, making our experience of watching him on the big screen so magical and lively.
In fact, this great actor himself, married with 5 children, is like an “institution”, taking him to an unparallel height of artistic abilities. He, in his bright career, acted in over three hundred films in Bengali and Urdu and won the hearts of millions. Being the paramount figure in Dhaka film industry, this great actor has also remained a style icon for a long time in Bangladesh. Finally, He was also elected goodwill ambassador of UNICEF as the first Bangladeshi film artiste. Dead at 75 years of age, this great actor will remain in the hearts of millions of Bangladeshi movie lovers for generations.
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Part 3 – Two-way Discussion:
Discussion topic: Watching films/movies
Q. What are the most popular types of films in your country?
Answer: Having started its journey during the late 1950s, the film industry in Bangladesh has certainly come a long way to assimilate itself into the cultural environment of my country. During this period of time, the movie lovers in Bangladesh have seen all kinds of films, including fantasy, action, drama, romance, adventure and comedy. But, when it comes to naming the most popular types of films in my country, I would certainly say that fantasy, action and romance types are the winners with “romance” being at the top. However, it’s not that the other types of films are not made in Bangladesh, but they don’t really become as commercially successful as the other 3 types which I have mentioned. In fact, in the history of Bangladesh, the most commercially successful movie “Beder Meye Josna” (the daughter of snake charmer) is a “Romance” type.
Q. What is the difference between watching a film in the cinema and watching a film at home?
Answer: Well, watching a movie in a movie theatre and watching it at home has some notable differences. First, the theatre has a really large screen, modern sound system, great visual impact and an arrangement where we tend to watch it with a large number of people we do not know at all. We have to follow the time schedule and some rules to watch the movie and can’t take a break whenever we want as the movie continues to run. We need to spend a large sum of money to enjoy a movie at a modern and cosy theatre and we often decide to watch a movie with friends or family there.
On the contrary, we usually watch movies at home on our computer screen, laptop or a large TV which is not as large as the screen in a theatre is. The sound and visual impression are not comparable to the theatre but we have the freedom to watch it whenever we want and can take breaks as many time as we want. We usually watch a movie at home with some of our family members or alone unlike a cinema hall. Finally, it costs very little and sometimes nothing to watch a movie at home. Finally, we often watch a movie at home because we want to watch that very movie while going to a cinema could be a social activity with friends.
Q. Do you think cinemas will close in the future?
Answer: No, I do not believe that cinema will close in the future and we will not enjoy a newly-released movie at the comfort of a modern theatre. It is true that the number of cinema halls in my country has shrunk at an alarming rate in the past few years, but people will always choose to visit a theatre with friends and family as part of their free time activities.
Large and modern TV screens with impressive sound quality and the popularity of movie streaming service like Netflix will definitely reduce the number of moviegoers in the future, but it does not mean that cinema hall will become history and we will no longer enjoy a movie at a theatre.
Discussion topic: Theatre
Q. How important is the theatre in your country’s history?
Answer: My country, Bangladesh, has witnessed the tradition of theatre from an ancient time. Of course, it has changed in the course of time as the country itself went through a lot of transformations demographically, geographically, socially and economically. But, historically speaking, the theatre in Bangladesh has played an important role in shaping a powerful political and cultural movement which eventually helped create a “Bangladesh” as we see it today.
Q. How strong a tradition is it today in your country to go to the theatre?
Answer: The theatre groups, which were created after 1971, tried to raise social consciousness among its fellow citizens by launching a language-based nationalistic movement. Most of these theatre groups, including Nagarik Natya Sampraday (Citizens Community Theatre) and Dhaka Theatre, were mostly non-professional groups. However, later on, during the 1990’s, important attempts were made to create professional theatres such as “Bangla Theatre”, “Theatre Art” and “The Center for Asian Theatre”, but still the “theatre culture” hasn’t exactly flourished in my country as expected since the profession is just not economically viable enough. So, it is fair to suggest that theatre hasn’t exactly developed as an “industry” for “cultural expression” in Bangladesh because of very limited financial gains, and as a result, no strong tradition as yet that would encourage its people to visit there for the purpose of promoting this “collaborative form of fine art”.
Q. Do you think the theatre should be run as a business or as a public service?
Answer: Running a cinema as a public service is not practical and I believe if we ever try to make it a public service, it will lose its appeals and quality. First, millions of dollars are spent on making a movie and those funds mostly come from private organisations and business people who invest heavily to make a profit. If the funds are provided by the states, we won’t see many exciting movies in the future. Besides, the government already has many unfulfilled responsibilities to its citizens and controlling cinema as a public service is not a good idea, at least not in my country.