25 August 2009

Pan's Labyrinth, without subtitles (imperfect vs. preterite)

I found the intro to Pan's Labyrinth on YouTube, without subtitles! I'm totally against showing subtitled videos in class--if I can't concentrate on the Spanish audio, I know my students can't. But I love the intro to this movie, because it's such a good example of imperfect vs. preterite--this is what things used to be like when the girl lived in the under world, but then 'one day'... and every verb after that is preterite. Anything that can make the distinction clearer is a gem.

I'm pretty sure all the movies uploaded on YouTube in their entirety are big violations of copyright, but I consider this like the 'short portion for educational purposes' exception in print copyright law. I only show it up to the point where the girl escapes to the real world. And then I encourage my students to see the film... if their parents will okay it and agree with me that though it's rated R, the linguistic and historical significance outweigh the war-related violence (though I will say the torture scene is a bit much for me).

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