Monday, January 30, 2012

Multimedia Monday: Shrek

I'm generating material for a new textbook. If I understand my boss correctly, the franchise headquarters is considering dropping their kids' hagwons (like ours) in favor of focusing exclusively focusing on adults. The owners of this particular branch don't know if or when this will happen, but they want to have material ready just in case it does. My boss and I both agree that the movie/music/novels curriculum is much preferable to just straight-up textbook drilling, and that even if HQ drops us, we'd want to keep that curriculum style. This is why I'm writing questions for, and summarizing scenes from, Shrek.

I like Shrek a lot, I'll admit it, even if DreamWorks is monetizing the life out of it. I like it for a lot of reasons, but what's nice about Shrek compared to the other movies they've studied so far (Elf, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Ice Age) is that it has a pretty good soundtrack, with lots of good pop songs to choose from. Yeah, even the song by Smashmouth.  I'm sorry. I'm not including it here, though, because I don't think it's really a good song for EFL students (lyrics don't exactly make sense).  Also, everyone hates it.

Here are some good ones that people still like, as far as I can tell.

Oh, The Proclaimers.  National band of Scotland.  If nothing else, I'm sure the trippin' balls music video will entertain my kids.

The version in them movie is apparently a cover by Halfcocked, and not the original Joan Jett.  But since Joan Jett is the queen of rock 'n roll, I posted the original. Minor controversy here, since the refrain does have low-level profanity in it, but since my kids are studying Green Day's "Basketcase" ("I went to a whore, he said my life's a bore...") I think it's kosher enough for this particular classroom.   Besides, "I don't give a _____ about ______." is a great idiomatic expression to learn.  (Activity idea: have a contest to see who can come up with the funniest thing to fill in the blank: "I don't give a ________ about homework!")

So I lied, I am totally including the other Smashsmouth song from the soundtrack, which I honestly prefer to the Monkees' version. And unlike All Star, the lyrics make a bit more sense than just a bunch of almost-puns.  (Thanks, Neil Diamond.) Trying to track down the version I remember from the "Jukebox" bonus feature on YouTube—the one where Eddie Murphy sings—is pretty impossible.  The only one I can find has the dialog in Spanish, which is not really helpful for me.  So, instead, have one of the myriad versions of the Eddie Murphy-less one matched up with a Shrek AMV.

And finally, Leonard Cohen as covered by Rufus Wainwright. (Even if John Cale's version is better.)  Not sure if I'll use this one—it's a bit too mellow and melancholy to capture the attention of frenetic nine year olds.  But if they could get into Cat Stevens, they might like this. Still, the other songs I listed will definitely get the higher priority.

For other videos, there's always the Multimedia Monday tag.  And if you need to pull any of these videos from YouTube on to a thumb drive or hard drive or whatever, you can't go wrong with YouTube Downloader HD.

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