This film has two characters and a lot of dialogue, so it could be a good one to practice reading in pairs. You could do it in class, or get together with a friend.
It could also be an interesting discussion topic. In the film a man called Mr Roberts is inside a white room, but he doesn’t know how he got there or why he’s there. And the door to the room is locked.
And there’s a man there, sitting at a desk. And in front of the desk, there’s a black button. And the man behind the desk says to Mr Roberts that if he presses the black button he’ll get 10 million dollars, but someone will die. So he can choose to do that, or he can choose to not press the black button and just take the key that’s on the desk and leave the room with no money.
According to an Australian news report Facebook's prude police are out in force yet again. Last weekend a jewellery store owner received six warnings from Facebook for posting photos of nude doll. The site said the photos were inappropriate and breached their terms of service. The jeweller said Facebook staff were behaving like "philistines".
And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 6th of July. Kia ora.
Pertinent is a formal adjective which means relevant or appropriate to a particular situation.
Things that are commonly described as pertinent are questions and comments.
In the film we’re studying today, the man who’s locked in the room, Mr Roberts, says to the man behind the desk: Who the hell are you?
And the man behind the desk says: A pertinent question, Mr Roberts, which we will address in due course.
There’s an interesting contrast in the formality of language there.
Who the hell are you? Is a very informal way of asking: Who are you? And: A pertinent question, Mr Roberts, which we will address in due course. Is a very formal way of saying: Good question, I’ll tell you soon.
conversations with sarah
Who the hell are you?
Man Ah, Mr Roberts. ミスター・ロバーツ。
Mr Roberts Who the hell are you? あんた一体だれ？
Man A pertinent question, Mr Roberts, which we will address in due course. But for now let us focus on the task at hand. よろしい、後にお答えしましょう。まずは目前にある仕事に取りかかりましょう。
Mr Roberts What are you talking about? What am I doing here? 何のことだ？オレはここで一体何をしているんだ？
Man You are here to make a choice, Mr Roberts, that is all. 君はここへ選択をしに来ました。ただそれだけです。
Mr Roberts I’m sorry, I don’t know who you are or where I am. I was on my way to work, and … スミマセンが僕はあなたが誰なのか、僕は今どこにいるのか分かりません。僕は会社に行く途中で・・・
Man And now you’re here. Your choice is a simple one. If you make the right one, well, you will leave here with more than you could possibly imagine. そして君は今ここにいる。君の選択はとてもシンプル。もし正しい選択をしたなら、そうですね、君の想像を絶するものを手にし、ここを離れることになるでしょう。
Mr Roberts What choice? What are you talking about? 選択って何だ？何のことを喋っているんだ？
Man Mr Roberts in front of you is a button. Should you choose to push that button, someone, somewhere in this world, will die. ミスター・ロバーツ、君の目の前にボタンがある。それを押したら誰かが、世界のどこかの誰かが死にます。
Mr Roberts What kind of a sick joke is this? これはどんな類の胸くそ悪いジョークなんだ？
Man You didn’t let me finish, Mr Robert. If you choose to push that button, I will give you ten million dollars. Inside this briefcase. 私の話はまだ終わっていません。もしボタンを押したなら、１千万ドル差し上げます。このブリーフ・ケースに入っています。
Mr Roberts This is ridiculous. I’m leaving. こんなのバカげてる。オレはもう行く。
Man You will find the door is locked. 君はドアがロックされていることに気がつく。
Black Button - Transcript
Man: Ah, Mr Roberts.
Mr Roberts: Who the hell are you?
Man: A pertinent question, Mr Roberts, which we will address in due course. But for now let us focus on the task at hand.
Mr Roberts: What are you talking about? What am I doing here?
Man: You are here to make a choice, Mr Roberts, that is all.
Mr Roberts: I’m sorry, I don’t know who you are or where I am. I was on my way to work, and …
Man: And now you’re here. Your choice is a simple one. If you make the right one, well, you will leave here with more than you could possibly imagine.
Mr Roberts: What choice? What are you talking about?
Man: Mr Roberts in front of you is a button. Should you choose to push that button, someone, somewhere in this world, will die.
Mr Roberts: What kind of a sick joke is this?
Man: You didn’t let me finish, Mr Robert. If you choose to push that button, I will give you ten million dollars. Inside this briefcase.
Mr Roberts: This is ridiculous. I’m leaving.
Man: You will find the door is locked.
Mr Roberts: You do not know who you are dealing with.
Man: Jeffery Roberts of 14 Brenan Court. Trouble sleeping. Job wavering. Debts mounting.
Mr Roberts: Who the hell do you think you are?
Man: A powerful man, Mr Roberts. A man who can change your life … with the small cost of someone else’s.
Mr Roberts: My God.
Man: Oh, he’s not yours, Mr Roberts.
Mr Roberts: This can’t be real.
Man: I assure you, it’s very real.
Mr Roberts: Prove it.
Man: Well, let’s take a look then, shall we? Ten million dollars, Mr Roberts. All legal tender. Just think what that sort of money can achieve.
Mr Roberts: Well, what happens if I don’t push it?
Man: Well then, I give you the key to the door. And you’ll never see me or the ten million dollars again.
Mr Roberts: How do I know pushing that button won’t just kill me?
Man: Well, it could, but the odds are six billion to one.
Mr Roberts: Six billion, huh. That is a lot of people. And people do die all the time, right?
Mr Roberts: I mean, how many people have died in car accidents this year?
Man: Car accidents! 14,764 … 65 …60… we digress. You were saying about accidents. They happen all the time!
Mr Roberts: Yeah, you know, wrong place, wrong time and bang, your time is up.
Man: Eventually, Mr Roberts, everyone’s time is up.
Mr Roberts: Alright, if, if … I push that button, how would they die?
Man: It’ll be an accident of some sort.
Mr Roberts: How can I possibly trust you?
Man: I’m trying to help you.
Mr Roberts: Yeah, come on, just tell me, what is this really about? What’s in it for you?
Man: Well, nothing directly. You see my purpose is to try to create a world devoid of weakness, kindness, selflessness, mercy. These are all euphemisms for weakness. I hold up the animal world, Mr Roberts. The beasts of the fields show no mercy. You don’t die of old age on the Serengeti. True beauty is in self-preservation.
Mr Roberts: You’re an evil son of a bitch.
Man: Morality, mortality, your musings are becoming tiresome, Mr Roberts. I’m considering withdrawing my offer.
Mr Roberts: Oh, come on!
Man: You have 30 seconds. If you haven’t pushed the button by then, well then you can leave as penniless as when you came.
Mr Roberts: I need more time to think!
Man: You’ve had enough time.
Mr Roberts: What if it’s a little girl or something?
Mr Roberts: I can’t, I, I mean…
Man: One less person in an already over-populated world.
Mr Roberts: One person?
Man: Just one!
Mr Roberts: No one will ever know.
Man: Not a soul.
Mr Roberts: Oh, God.
Man: Decide now. Think of your family. Think of the money. Push it. Push it. Push it!
Mr Roberts: This was a trick, wasn’t?
Man: Not at all, Mr Roberts. The money’s yours. Here, take what you’re owed. There is one thing I have to tell you, Mr Roberts.
Mr Roberts: What?
Man: Well, you see Mr Roberts, you’re already dead.
Mr Roberts: No, no, that’s, that’s impossible.
Man:Think, Mr Roberts, one minute you’re driving and the next you’re here.
Mr Roberts: No! No! No!
Man: A rather nasty car accident I’m afraid. Since man was capable of possessing a soul, it’s been my job to tempt him in purgatory with whatever mortal vice that would encourage him to take the life of another. The evil can be saved, the good can be condemned with a transgression. Think of me as God’s filter.
Mr Roberts: What’s going to happen to me?
Man: Well, you’re going to hell, Mr Roberts. Endless and boundless nothing.
Mr Roberts: But I did it for my family.
Man: You had the key to salvation. You chose condemnation.
Mr Roberts: Wait, please.
Man: Goodbye, Mr Roberts. Oh, and don’t forget your briefcase, you are allowed to keep that.
Mr Roberts: Just tell me - who did I kill?
Man: Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that, Mr Roberts. I’ll be seeing them next.