ACT english practice test 21

DIRECTIONS: In the passages that follow, certain words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the right-hand column, you will find alternatives for the underlined part. In most cases, you are to choose the one that best expresses the idea, makes the statement appropriate for standard written English, or is worded most consistently with the style and tone of the passage as a whole. If you think the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE.” In some cases, you will find in the right-hand column a question about the underlined part. You are to choose the best answer to the question.

You will also find questions about a section of the passage, or about the passage as a whole. These questions do not refer to an underlined portion of the passage, but rather are identified by a number or numbers in a box.

For each question, choose the alternative you consider best and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. Read each passage through once before you begin to answer the questions that accompany it. For many of the questions, you must read several sentences beyond the question to determine the answer. Be sure that you have read far enough ahead each time you choose an alternative.

André Bazin's Nouvelle Vague

André Bazin died on November 11, 1958 after over 15 years of pioneering work in film criticism. His magazine, Cahiers du Cinéma (Cinema Notebooks), had been issued regularly since its founding in 1951, and it had become the premier journal in French for the serious discussion of films. Bazin, working and living in Paris, had become one of the cities1 premier intellectuals. Despite all of the achievements of Bazin's lifetime, the true fruit of his labor did not begin to become truly apparent until the year following Bazin's death. It was in 1959 in Paris2 that the nouvelle vague (new wave) in French cinema exploded3 onto the international film scene.

Bazin published his first piece of film criticism in 1943 and pioneered a new way of writing about film, he4 championed the idea that cinema was the "seventh art," every bit as deserving as the more respected arts of: architecture,5 poetry, dance, music, painting, and sculpture. Many before Bazin's time thought of the cinema as a simple extension of another art form: theatre. In fact, in many early writings about film, it is not uncommon to hear the authors speak of film. Bazin, though, sought to show that the cinema had every bit as much creative vitality and craftsmanship as any of the other six arts. From this fundamental belief came what was possibly Bazin's greatest contribution to film criticism: auteur theory.

Auteur is the French word for author, and the suggestion contained in both the word and Bazin's theory is that every film is "authored" by a single mind just as a novel or poem is the work of a single author. For Bazin, and the increasingly influential group of critics working with him at the Cahiers du Cinéma, the author of any film is its director, and to discern a director's true style, perspective, or his sense of voice,8 the critic has merely to watch a group of the director's films with an eye to similarities between them. Accordingly, Bazin and the Cahiers group were truly the first to discuss films and the practice of cinema in general as the masterwork of directors, rather than screenwriters or actors. With auteur theory, nonetheless,9 Bazin created a new way of looking at films, and his early works on10 such influential directors as Orson Welles, Vittorio de Sica, and Jean Renoir—remain, to this day, pioneering works of film criticism that are studied and emulated by film critics today.

Bazin's greatest achievement was the strong impression he left on a young generation of French filmmakers and critics who came on to the international scene all over the world12 just a year after Bazin's death. In 1959, two films changed the landscape of international filmmaking:13 Fran?ois Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless. In each film, the director has taken Bazin's emphasis on auteur filmmaking to heart, and in every frame, the viewer is reminded of the director's presence by the overwhelming stylistic personality of shots and scenes. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, independent and avant-garde filmmakers in places as disparate as France, the United States, Italy, and Japan were beginning to exercise the new cinematic freedom that Bazin had charted for them. At that time,14 whenever a national film industry completely reinvents itself, it is carried along by a group of auteur directors who refer to their films as part of a new wave. Now there are legions of filmmakers, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami in Iran or Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro in Mexico, for example, whose inspiration can in some way be traced back to Bazin and his humble work as editor of the Cahiers du Cinéma in France way back in the 1950s.


B. citys
C. cities'
D. city's


G. in 1959 in Paris,
H. in 1959, in Paris
J. in, 1959 in Paris,

3. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion is LEAST acceptable?

A. emerged
B. released
C. erupted
D. burst


G. film. He
H. film he
J. film. Although he


B. of, architecture,
C. of architecture,
D. of, architecture

6. The writer is considering adding the following phrase to the end of the preceding sentence (deleting the period after the word film):

as a second-class substitute for the "legitimate theatre."

Should the writer make this addition there?

F. Yes, because it clarifies the sentence to show more specifically how critics talked about film.
G. Yes, because it helps the reader to understand more clearly the subjects of Bazin's writing.
H. No, because it fails to maintain this paragraph's focus on the Cahiers du Cinéma.
J. No, because it speaks disparagingly about the practice of filmmaking.

7. At this point the writer is considering adding the following true statement:

Bazin's work is available in a text commonly read in Film Studies classes, the collection What Is Cinema?

Should the writer make this addition here?

A. Yes, because it maintains the essay's focus on an important figure in French film criticism.
B. Yes, because it gives a good sense of the type of reading students can expect in Film Studies classes.
C. No, because it interrupts the discussion of a specific theory of Bazin's.
D. No, because other information in the essay suggests that this statement is untrue.


G. the director's voice,
H. his voice,
J. voice,


B. meanwhile,
C. still,
D. DELETE the underlined portion.


G. works, on
H. works: on
J. works—on

11. Which of the following sentences, if added here, would effectively conclude this paragraph and introduce the topic of the next?

A. Bazin himself never made any films, but he always preferred the Italian Neorealist style.
B. While Bazin's magazine was the place to read about classic films, Henri Langlois's Cinematheque was the place to see them.
C. Despite these great written achievements in the Cahiers du Cinéma, Bazin's true and lasting influence lay elsewhere.
D. Many film critics working in the later part of the twentieth century, such as Christian Metz and Gilles Deleuze, are clearly indebted to Bazin.


G. in all parts of the world
H. in every nation and country
J. DELETE the underlined portion.

13. Which choice would most effectively guide readers to understand the great importance of the two films discussed?

B. came out around the same time:
C. joined the long list of films shot primarily in Paris:
D. were created by directors who knew Bazin personally:


G. Back then,
H. Even now,
J. In the end,

15. This question asks about the preceding passage as a whole.

Suppose the author intended to write an essay that illustrates how the writings of one film critic have had an influence beyond the realm of film criticism. Would this essay successfully fulfill that goal?

A. Yes, because the essay describes Bazin's influence on the six arts of architecture, poetry, dance, music, painting, and sculpture.
B. Yes, because the essay describes Bazin's influence on both film criticism and filmmaking.
C. No, because the essay discusses auteur theory and French films in general.
D. No, because the essay states that Bazin's greatest achievements were as a filmmaker.