Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of the latest Ken Loach film “I, Daniel Blake”

March 21st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

British director Ken Loach – now aged 80 – is a film-maker with singular focus and talent. Nobody else would make a work about the benefits system with such a personal style and powerful impact. Like so many of his films, the acting and dialogue are so naturalistic that the work could almost be a […]

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A review of the new film “Hacksaw Ridge”

March 15th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Even 70 years after the end of the Second World War, there are amazing stories to be told. Hacksaw Ridge was the nickname for the Maeda Escarpment, a location on Okinawa Island defended ferociously by the Japanese against American attack, and this film depicts the heroic tale of Desmond Doss who saved an incredible number […]

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“Love Actually” revisited – love it! (2)

March 13th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Some weeks ago, I did a blog posting about the 12 minute follow up to the film “Love Actually” which is being made for Red Nose Day on 24 March 2017. ¬†Today the “Guardian” newspaper has a report¬†from the set of the mini sequel which includes this observation: “[Hugh] Grant sips water and tries to […]

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A review of the new film “Kong: Skull Island”

March 12th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

It seems that you can’t keep a giant ape down and this is at least the fourth Kong movie that I’ve seen following the versions of “King Kong” released in 1933, 1976 and 2005. What makes this one different? It channels “Apocalypse Now” big time, setting the action just after the Vietnam War and deploying […]

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A review of the new film “Manchester By The Sea”

March 12th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I spent the first 23 years of my life living in what i regard as the original Manchester in north-west England, so I was always going to be intrigued by the title of this film. The small fishing town in Massachusetts is a character in itself and different scenes feature prominently in the cinematography. In […]

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A review of the new X-Men movie “Logan”

March 3rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is the ninth movie in the X-Men franchise (I’ve seen them all) and the third of the stand-alone “Wolverine” films, but this really is an X-Men movie like no other. In characterisation, narrative, location and style, it stands apart but is entirely consistent with the others and brings the story to a most satisfying […]

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A review of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning film “Moonlight”

March 1st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

On the evening of the very day I went to see “Moonlight” at a cinema in London, it received the highest accolade of the Aacedmy Awards in Los Angeles, but only after the most dramatic mess-up in Oscar history when originally “La La Land” was announced as the winner of the Best Film Award only […]

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A review of the new film “The Great Wall”

February 22nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Chinese director Zhang Yimou is a huge talent. I was enormously impressed by his films “House Of Flying Daggers” [my review here] and “Hero” [my review here] and, of course, this is the man who was responsible for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. So expectations were high for “The Great Wall”. his […]

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A review of the novel “Tightrope”

February 19th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“The Girl Who Fell From The Sky” [my review here] was a very well-written work that introduced us to a fascinating character, newly-recruited wartime SOE agent Marian Sutro. The novel ended dramatically and the sequel “Tightrope” explains what happened to Marian and what she did next. It is an excellent work which I have reviewed […]

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A review of the film “Maggie’s Plan”

February 18th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I bet you missed this film which was released last year. It came in under the radar and disappeared too quickly for me to catch it at the cinema. But now I’ve seen it on the small screen and I feel that, as well as being under-known, it’s under-rated. You can read my review here.

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