Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of the new superhero movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

November 27th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

After seeing two really heavy films in a row, I yearned for some straightforward entertainment and “Black Panther 2” delivered. Following the great success of the original “Black Panther” movie, its lead actor Chadwick Boseman, who was king of Wakanda T’Challa, died of cancer aged just 43 and so the sequel had both to pay […]

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A review of the 1982 classic film “The Draughtsman’s Contract”

November 24th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Most critics really admire the work of British writer and director Peter Greenaway and “The Draughtsman’s Contract”, his first major feature, is regarded as a classic. However, I always thought that I would find his films too odd and avoided them. Yet, when my brother recommended that I view a 40th anniversary re-mastered version, I […]

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A review of the new film “Living”

November 17th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Bill Nighy gives the best performance of his distinguished career as Mr Williams, an old-fashioned, straight-laced, middle-ranking official at the London County Council in the 1950s. When he receives life-changing news, he has to decide whether he can start living at last and whether he can leave any kind of meaningful legacy. The film centres […]

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A review of the new film “The Good Nurse”

November 11th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

This Netflix film is not an easy watch because it is so dark, both literally (so many scenes are in shadow) and narratively (it concerns the deliberate killing of hospital patients by a nurse). The two American characters in the centre of this true life drama are played by Eddie Redmayne as the good nurse […]

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A review of a new film version of “All Quiet On The Western Front”

November 8th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

I’ve not read the novel by Erich Maria Remarque (1929) or seen the Academy Award-winning film version (1930), but – following a recommendation from my brother – I was determined to see this new German-language adaptation on the big screen even though it is a Netflix production. I’m pleased that I did because the cinematography […]

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A review of the classic French comedy “Playtime” (1967)

November 4th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

A French comedy may seem an unlikely work for inclusion in a review of classic films, but “Playtime” is featured in the book “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die” (when else could you see them?) and it was shown on a cinema course that I attended at London City’s Literary Institute. It was […]

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A review of the controversial new movie “Blonde”

October 15th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Both written and directed by Australian Andrew Dominik, he must have known that this would be a controversial work and probably wanted it to be so. Based on Joyce Carol Oates’s fictional biography of American actress and icon Marilyn Monroe, it has been described as a pseudo-biographical psychological drama because, while the film captures many […]

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A review of the new action film “The Woman King”

October 12th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Imagine a mainstream movie both written and directed by women: respectively American Dana Stevens and African-American Gina Prince-Bythewood. Unusual but not unknown. Imagine a film in which all the leading roles are taken by black women: outstanding African-American Viola Davis in the titular role plus young South African Thuso Mbedu, black British Lashana Lynch and […]

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A review of the 1961 classic French film “Last Year In Marienbad”

October 5th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Marienbad is a spa town in the Czech Republic, but no filming was done there for this thoroughly enigmatic work. The locations used for most of the interiors and gardens were the palaces of Schleissheim and Nymphenburg and other locations in and around Munich. But this is the least of the deceits, or at least […]

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A review of the 2017 film “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer”

August 29th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

This is a very odd film in so many respects. Above all, the storyline is so unusual: inspired by an ancient Greek tragedy (which is mentioned once very briefly), it is a psychological thriller in which lives are threatened and one is lost (the titular reference to an animal is a metaphor). Although it is […]

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