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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第2章 社会文化类 Unit 19

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2019年01月07日

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Lately DreamWorks SKG has been a wandering tribe.The would-be studio,which made films such as“American Beauty” and“War of the Worlds”,sold itself to Paramount in 2005.When that arrangement fell apart it found new partners in Reliance Big Entertainment,a Bollywood outfit,and Universal Studios.Then it fell out with Universal.So it was rather a surprise when,on February 9th,DreamWorks abruptly found itself in the promised land.Disney,the world's foremost purveyor of wholesome entertainment,lent it money and agreed to market and distribute its films. 
It is a good illustration of how the economic downturn is affecting Hollywood.Until recently executives were boasting that the film business was resistant,perhaps even immune,to recession.The number of cinema tickets sold actually increased during three out of the past four recessions.Box-office receipts so far this year are higher than last year.Admittedly,the share prices of media companies have tumbled—but that is because of the collapse in television and print advertising,and has little to do with Tinseltown. 
Yet the downturn has profoundly affected the art of dealmaking.Although the breakdown of negotiations between DreamWorks and Universal has been followed by a storm of recriminations,the heart of the problem was that DreamWorks was finding it unexpectedly hard to raise debt.It is hardly alone in that.Two years ago investors were lubricating all sorts of strange alliances and start-ups—Tom Cruise wants to resurrect United Artists? Why not? But now the outside money has all but disappeared.The big studios,the primacy of which was never exactly threatened during the boom years,are now almost the only game in town. 
The alliance with DreamWorks is something of an about-turn for Disney.Under Bob Iger,who took over as chief executive in 2005,Disney has culled films that are a less than perfect fit for its family-friendly brand and has concentrated on turning those that are into amusement-park rides,lunch boxes and other spin-offs. This week's deal will add as many as six films a year to Disney's pipeline,swelling it by about half.The surge will not happen at once,however: DreamWorks will have to raise more money before it is capable of producing that many. 
These days DreamWorks is largely Steven Spielberg's outfit.Jeffrey Katzenberg (the“K” in SKG)runs DreamWorks Animation,a separate,publicly owned company.David Geffen (the“G”)has retired from the studio.The remaining founder spoke warmly of Disney this week,calling it the“birthplace of imagination”.He is said to be looking forward to making more family films.Perhaps,but he still looks a little out of place in the magic kingdom. 
Mr.Spielberg became America's best-known,and perhaps best,film director by fusing blockbuster spectacle with an unflinching take on family life.The households even in his PG-rated films are almost uniformly dysfunctional.Think of Richard Dreyfuss flinging plants through the window in“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”,Frances O’Connor abandoning her adopted robot son by the roadside in“A.I.” or the defeated,self-deluding Christopher Walken in“Catch Me If You Can”.It is hard to imagine any of them donning Mickey Mouse ears. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2004年真题Text 4。 
1.Why is DreamWorks SKG described at the beginning of the article as a wandering tribe? 
A) Because it has recently made some movies about different ancient tribes. 
B) Because it has recently moved from Hollywood to Bollywood for development. 
C) Because it lately has seen many ups and downs when cooperating with peer companies. 
D) Because it eventually reached its promised land of partnership with Disneyland. 
2.According to the text,which is the influence of economic downturn on Hollywood's entertainment business? 
A) Companies’ operation and other business activities are profoundly affected. 
B) Hollywood provides the services that are resistant to economic crisis. 
C) The recession has promoted the movie industry as more people watch movies. 
D) Most movie companies are sunk in debt crisis because of the economic recession. 
3.Bob Iger's strategy for Disneyland centers on ______. 
A) adding more movies to the company's pipeline 
B) switching from movie-making to amusement park 
C) raising more money to expand the size of the company 
D) further clarifying the company's brand 
4.Steven Spielberg,according to the text,is said to be ______. 
A) the founder of DreamWorks 
B) good at combing grand scenes with details in reality 
C) the best director in American movie history 
D) a major advocator of family movies 
5.What does the author think of the partnership between Disneyland and DreamWorks? 
A) It will result in Spielberg's concentration shift onto more family movies. 
B) They will add cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse to real-life movies. 
C) The combination looks somewhat weird and the prospect is not cheerful. 
D) The two companies will definitely find themselves incompatible with each others. 

近来,梦工厂电影公司一直归属未定。这家曾制作出《美国丽人》和《世界大战》等电影的公司在2005年出售给了派拉蒙公司。与派拉蒙的合作失败后,梦工厂又与信实娱乐——一家宝莱坞大型娱乐公司——和环球影视公司结成了新的伙伴关系。但它与环球影视的合作也未能成功。因此,在2月9日,梦工厂突然发现自己“身在乐土”,令人大感惊讶:迪士尼,这个全球健康娱乐的最主要提供者出借资金给梦工厂,并同意推广和发行梦工厂的电影。 
这是经济滑坡正在影响好莱坞的有力佐证。就在不久前,电影界的高层人物还在夸耀电影业能够抵御经济危机,甚至是完全不受影响。在过去的四次经济衰退中,有三次影院的售票量都增加了。到目前为止,今年的票房收入要高于去年。传媒公司的股价的确大幅下跌,但这是由于电视与平面媒体广告业务遭受重创,与好莱坞几乎毫无关系。 
然而经济滑坡却已经对电影业的交易产生了深远影响。梦工厂与环球影视公司的谈判破裂引起了激烈的指责,但核心问题是梦工厂没有料到借贷资金会如此艰难。面临如此困境的远不止梦工厂一家。两年前,投资者将资金像加润滑油一样源源不断地注入各路同盟和新兴企业——汤姆·克鲁斯要重振联美公司了?为什么不呢?但现在,几乎所有的外部资金都消失了。首屈一指的大型电影制片公司在经济繁荣时期从未受到威胁,与它们合作几乎成了目前唯一的选择。 
与梦工厂的合作对于迪士尼来说是一个重大转变。自从2005年鲍勃·艾格就任迪士尼公司总裁之后,公司就开始筛除与其面向家庭的品牌形象不符的影片,集中力量把符合要求的影片融入游乐园的骑坐设施、午餐盒和其他周边产品。本周的这项合同将使迪士尼的电影年产量增加6部,增长了近一半。但这一增长不会立刻实现,因为梦工厂还必须筹集更多资金才能达到这种制片规模。 
近来梦工厂主要是由斯皮尔伯格掌管。杰弗里·卡森伯格(SKG中的“K”)负责独立运营上市公司梦工厂动画公司。而大卫·格芬(SKG中的“G”)已经从制片厂退休。梦工厂仅剩的创始人本周热情赞扬了迪士尼公司,称之为“想象的诞生地”。据说他还期望今后能够制作更多家庭电影。这或许能实现,但他在这个魔幻王国里依然显得有些格格不入。 
斯皮尔伯格大胆拍摄家庭生活,将其与波澜壮阔的大场面相融合,成为了美国最有名的, 也许是最优秀的电影导演。即使在PG级影片中,他展现的也几乎都是病态的家庭。想想《第三类接触》中理查德·德赖弗斯将花草从窗户中抛出,《人工智能》中弗朗西斯·奥康纳将她收养的机器人儿子遗弃在路边,或者《逍遥法外》中克里斯托弗·沃尔肯被击垮后的自欺欺人。很难想象他们戴上米老鼠的耳朵会是什么样子。 
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