Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of the new film “Paddington 2”

November 15th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I loved “Paddington” and – to my delight – I loved “Paddington 2” too. Of course, we start with the adorable character created by Michael Bond (who died between the release of the two films), the brilliant CGI representation of our furry friend, and the purr-fect voicing by Ben Wishaw. This is such a British […]

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A review of the new version of “Murder On The Orient Express”

November 10th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I saw the star-stunned 1974 film version of Agatha Christie’s famous 1934 novel, so I knew the outcome of the equally star-stunned 2017 remake, but I still found it an enjoyable ride through the snow. It has to be said that the plot is massively contrived and the whole thing sags somewhat in the middle, […]

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A review of the new life-affirming film “Breathe”

November 7th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Breathing is the most natural thing on earth, right? But when British tea broker Robin Cavendish contracted polio in Kenya in 1958, he found that he was paralysed from the neck down and could not breathe without the constant support of a mechanical ventilator. This true story is told with Andrew Garfield as Robin and […]

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Not the film I was expecting (1): a review of “Thor: Ragnarok”

November 2nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is the not the film I was expecting. As the third entry in the “Thor” franchise, I anticipated a traditional super-hero movie like the previous two: lots of drama and threat and the occasional humorous one-liner. But this is actually the funniest by far of all the works in the Marvel canon (now 17 […]

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Not the film I was expecting (2): a review of “The Death Of Stalin”

November 2nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is not the film I was expecting. Knowing that it was both written and directed by the British Armando Iannucci who gave us the outrageous delights of “In The Loop”, “The Thick of It” and Veep”, I thought that I was going to encounter a full-blown, satirical comedy (and the trailer had confirmed this […]

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A review of the under-known and under-appreciated 1971 film “The Last Valley”

October 29th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Over my many years of cinema-going, I’ve viewed a whole range of movies with titles beginning “The Last ..” including “The Last Emperor” (1987) and “The Last Samurai” (2003). “The Last Valley’ may not be the best-known film with this kind of title, but it made an impression on me when I first saw it […]

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A review of “The Girl From Venice” by Martin Cruz Smith

October 24th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is the third novel that I have read by prolific American author MCS, folowing “Gorky Park” and “Havana Bay”. I guess that the title has been chosen to encourage sales because the feminine noun seems to everywhere. The trend was probably started by the spectatular success of the English-language translations of the three Millennium […]

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What do you know about the Republic of Salo?

October 19th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently reading a novel by Martin Cruz Smith titled “The Girl From Venice”. It is set in northern Italian at the end of the Second World War and some of the action takes place in Salo. The relevant Wikipedia page opens as follows: “The Italian Social Republic, informally known as the Republic of Salò, […]

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A review of the new film “The Party”

October 15th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This black comedy is a British oddity of a film in so many respects: written by a woman (Sally Potter), directed by a woman (the same Potter), as many female roles as male (actually one more out of seven), shot in black and white, located wholly on the ground floor of a London house, told […]

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A review of the recent film “A United Kingdom”

October 12th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This film is based on a fascinating story – both political and romantic – of which I was previously totally unaware. Tne kingdom in question is not Britain today but Bechuanaland (modern day Botswana) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The unlikely romance was between the black lawyer who is a prince, Seretse Khama […]

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