Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category

Feeling cold? Try “Frozen”.

January 15th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Frozen” “Frozen” will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first film seen by my granddaughter Catrin (one month short of her third birthday). We saw it with her little friend James (just three months older) who was also making his first visit to the cinema. Both sat through all […]

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A review of the Sam Mendes film “1917”

January 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Director Sam Mendes stunned cinema-goers with his opening sequence for the James Bond movie “Spectre”, set during The Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, when it appeared to be shot in one take of seven minutes (actually done in three shots). In retrospect, we can see that this was just a trial run […]

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A review of the latest film version of “Little Women”

January 7th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Little Women” has now been made into a feature film as often as the number of daughters in the much-loved novel by Louisa May Alcott: by George Cukor in 1933, by Mervyn Le Roy in 1949, by Gillian Armstrong in 1994, and now by Greta Gerwig who wrote as well as directed. Gerwig has assembled […]

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A review of “The Irishman” – destined to be a classic movie

December 31st, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Netflix, which funded this movie, has given us a classic. Most viewers will stream it at home and probably watch it over a couple of evenings, but I made a point of catching it at the cinema when of course I saw it one sitting (it runs to an incredible three and a half hours […]

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A review of “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker”

December 30th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Over 40 years after the “Star Wars” cinematic saga began, we have the ninth – and presumably last – episode in the three trilogies originally envisaged by George Lucas and I’ve enjoyed seeing each movie immediately it appeared on the big screen. The honour of closing the franchise goes to director and co-writer J J […]

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A review of the novel “Prague Spring” by Simon Mawer

December 22nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

In some ways, Mawer is an unlikely fiction writer. He took a degree in Zoology at Oxford University and has worked as a biology teacher in Rome for most of his life and he only published his first novel at the comparatively late age of 41. I discovered him through his eighth novel, the wonderful […]

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Revisiting the 1978 classic movie “The Deer Hunter”

December 15th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

There have been many American films about the Vietnam war and “The Deer Hunter” was one of the first and finest, being nominated for nine Academy Awards and winning five including Best Picture and Best Director (for Michael Cimino who originated the story). I saw it on its original release and revisited it on the […]

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A review of the new, award-winning film “Marriage Story”

December 8th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This is the fifth film that I have seen written and directed by Noah Baumbach, so I know to expect something different in terms of both subject and style, and “Marriage Story” is his best work to date. In spite of the title, it is essentially a story of divorce but it cleverly interweaves the […]

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A review of the new bio-pic “Harriet”

November 30th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Araminta “Minty” Ross was born a slave in the American state of Maryland probably in 1822 but, when she escaped to Philadelphia in 1849, she took the ‘free name’ of Harriet Tubman. As if her own escape was not remarkable enough, she subsequently made some 13 missions back south to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, […]

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A review of the British stage production of “My Brilliant Friend”

November 28th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Three years ago, it took me almost three months, but I completed my summer/autumn reading project: to read the four works and 1700 pages that make up the ‘Neapolitan Novels’, an acclaimed series by the Italian author Elena Ferrante. This is a saga of the 60-year friendship between two girls from a poor neighbourhood of Naples […]

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