Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of the new film “Creed II”

December 6th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This film could almost as fairly been titled “Rocky VIII” since once again it stars Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa and Stallone both co-wrote and co-produced. What’s more the central plot device is a essentially a re-run of “Rocky IV” as the son of Apollo Creed – Michael B Jordan as Adonis – accepts the […]

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A review of the new independent film “Wildlife”

December 1st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is a small story but one about a common occurrence – an imploding marriage – and it is told in a manner which is largely slow and quiet (the pace and action only pick up towards the end). Consequently it is not a film that will appeal to everyone but it is wonderfully acted […]

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A review of the latest “Robin Hood” film

November 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Following Kevin Costner (1991) and Russell Crowe (2010), we now have a much younger actor – Taron Egerton of the two “Kingsman” films – in the hands of a new film director – Otto Bathurst, all of whose previous work has been on television – attempting to do something new with this mythic hero of […]

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Three things that I learned about art today

November 21st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I spent three hours at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford today. Named after Elias Ashmolean, this is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. It opened in 1683 and is Britain’s oldest public museum. Each day, they have a lunchtime tour on one aspect of the museum’s collection and today I went on […]

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A review of the new Coen brothers’ movie “The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs”

November 20th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Over a period of 35 years of filmmaking, American brothers Joel and Ethan Coen are known for a succession of movies that are invariably quirky but always engaging. This 18th movie – where again they write, produce and direct – is a six-part love letter to the Hollywood western. Each tale evokes classic characters of […]

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A review of the new female heist movie “Widows”

November 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It is so good to see more leading roles for women in mainstream films, even in a genre like the heist movie where men have traditionally dominated. It is only a few months ago that we had “Ocean’s Eight” where all the gang members were female and now with “Widows” again we have an all-female […]

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A review of the new political film “Peterloo”

November 5th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

On 16 August 1819 in St Peter’s Field in central Manchester, around 60,000 pro-democracy reformers gathered in a peaceful protest that turned savage when it was attacked by armed cavalry, resulting in 18 deaths and over 600 injured. Until recently, the only public commemoration of this historic event was a plaque on the wall of […]

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A review of the new film “Bohemian Rhapsody”

November 3rd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This film of the British rock band Queen has had a troubled journey to the screen with a change of lead actor (Rami Malek replacing Sacha Baron Cohen) and, late in the shooting, a new director (Dexter Fletcher taking over from Bryan Singer). American-Egyptian Malek is outstanding as Indo-Parsi Freddie Mercury (originally named Farrokh Bulsara), […]

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A review of the important new film “The Hate U Give”

November 1st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

What a change and what a delight to see an American mainstream movie where virtually all the characters are people of colour: young as well as older, female as well as male, gay as well as straight. And how impressive that a film with a young person’s focus addresses so directly and fairly the issue […]

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A review of the novel “Prague Fatale” by Philip Kerr

October 26th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Kerr – who died in March 2018 – was a writer of both adult fiction and non-fiction who is known for the Bernie Gunther series of historical thrillers set in Germany and elsewhere during the 1930s, the Second World War and the Cold War. “Prague Fatale” is the eighth novel in the Gunther series and […]

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