domingo, 25 de octubre de 2009

Halloween

In Galicia we don´t celebrate Halloween, but we have a festival, from Celtic origin, called Samaín, which celebrate on the same days. Nobody wears disguises here (we do that during the Carnival), or plays trick or treat, but there are lots of pumpkins around and they are also used as ornaments with candles inside. In fact, in our school we celebrate a Halloween contest and one of the prizes goes to the pumpkin which is most originally decorated.

But Halloween is about fear and the unexpected side of things; and here´s a good example: this video, The Life and Death of a Pumpkin, was the winner of the 2006 Chicago Horror Film Festival for the Best Short Film. In case you don´t understand the text, you can find the script below the video.

This is an excellent listening activity. Watch and listen to the video first and then watch it as you read the transcript below to check how much you have really understood.



Script:
I’m a pumpkin. Hello.
In the beginning, my life was idyllic: Days spent with my family in the patch; The sunlight warming my skin. Idyllic.
Until they came without warning - cruel hands dragging me roughly from my dreams into a wheeled box.
I was carried past my brothers and sisters and friends. My family. I cried out for rescue but my kin remained silent and unmoving, perhaps fearing similar fate.
My home began to fade in the distance. And suddenly, everything went dark. When I came to my senses, I saw that my abductors had placed me on hard grey earth. I was afraid I had just been left to die. Now I know if I had, I would have been lucky.
The pain was incredible. I became dizzy - nauseated. They had cut a giant hole in my skull and were now tearing my innards from my body and strewing them before me, like ribbons from a gift.
Moments later, the knives returned, impaling me over and over again.
What made those people do what they did that day? I do not know. I began to think they were playing some sort of mad game, especially when they put a really big knife inside me and just sort of waved it around.
When the cutting was done I sat in shock, not daring to think that the torture might be at an end. But, of course, it was not.
They lowered a stick of hot fire into my belly. Burning, burning flame.
My captors had carved a gruesome visage into me, as if this was all some kind of demented joke. Who were these sick people and why had they done this to me? Why? Why? Why?
A while later, I returned to consciousness and heard someone approaching. A glimmer of hope sprang up inside me. Could these be my liberators, come to save me from this hell? No - it was a parade of tiny demons who stared at my ruined body. I knew then that the reason I had been hacked and disfigured was merely for the entertainment of these demons. They were even receiving some sort of payment from my captors for coming to see me. They tormented me and mocked me. My humiliation was complete.
And now, now I sit mangled, deformed, waiting for the sweet peace of death to arrive.
Freedom!

Do you think you´ll be able to eat pumpkin pie again?

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