Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


Word of the day: semiquincentennial

November 25th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Semiquincentennial (also called sestercentennial or quarter millennial) is the 250th anniversary of an event. I find it really difficult these days to find semiquincentennial birthday cards. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to the semiquincentennial or 250th anniversary of the 1776 establishment of the United States of America which will fall on 4 July 2026.

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A review of the novel “Winter In Madrid” by C J Sansom

November 21st, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Christopher John Sansom is a British writer of historical crime novels best-known for his Matthew Shardlake series set in Tudor England. He has written two standalone novels: “Dominion” (2012) which I read first and “Winter In Madrid” (2006) which I read rather later. While “Dominion” is set in a fictional Britain of winter 1952 when […]

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A review of the 2019 film “Dark Waters”

November 20th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

There is a sub-genre of drama movies that tell true-life stories of how powerful private corporations produced products that seriously harmed consumers and/or citizens, covering up the information and denying responsibility in the face of brave and tenacious individuals who sought to reveal the truth and hold them accountable. I think, for instance, of “Silkwood” […]

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A review of the new Italian film “The Life Ahead”

November 19th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Like my mother, Sophia Loren is an Italian who grew up in Naples. However, Loren has lived longer (she is now 86), she has had a rather more illustrious career (she has won two Academy Awards), and her son Edoardo Ponti has been more successsful than me (he directed this Italian-language film). Although based on […]

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A review of the 2017 film “Mother!”

November 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I should have done my homework but, in the middle of the second lockdown of a global pandemic, I was struggling to find an interesting film that I hadn’t already seen. Then I found this movie with Jennifer Lawrence in the lead and I’ve been a huge fan of hers since “Winter’s Bone” a decade […]

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A review of the new film “The Trial Of The Chicago 7”

November 11th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The late 1960s was a terrible time in the United States with race riots and anti-war demonstrations. The film “Detroit” powerfully depicted the outcome of a riot in that city in 1967 and this movie looks at the aftermath of a demonstration in Chicago in 1968. Eight activists – one was severed from the case […]

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A review of the new movie “On The Rocks”

November 2nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The weekend before a second lockdown to tackle the coronavirus crisis, I was so keen to enjoy the cinema experience before it was denied to me once more. So I managed to catch “On The Rocks” on the big screen while most people will see it on Apple’s streaming service. Written and directed by Sofia […]

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A review of the new film version of “Rebecca”

October 26th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

If you’re going to remake a classic movie, you need a lot of confidence and talent and perhaps a new angle. English novelist Daphne du Maurier wrote the famous “Rebecca”, published in 1938, and Alfred Hitchcock directed the film version of 1940 which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It was an impressive cast: […]

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A review of “The Eight Hundred”, a controversial film on the battle for Shanghai in 1937

October 6th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

For more than seven decades, the American, British and Russian film industries have given us one war movie after another representing the successes of their nations in the Second World War. Now that the Chinese film sector is such a powerhouse, it is understandable that it would want to get in on the act. The […]

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A review of the 1995 classic film “Clueless”

October 2nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Although I’m a massive movie fan, I guess that it’s not surprising that I never caught “Clueless”. At the time of its release, I was a father in his late 40s – not exactly the demographic attracted to this witty satire of teenage life in Beverley Hills very loosely based on the Jane Austen novel […]

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