Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of the 2018 movie “Book Club”

June 28th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

In most films, the leading roles are given to men, so we should applaud this work in which the four main characters are female and played by talented women who are a joy to observe. Even more than a dominance of men, moviedom is dominated by young actors, even as the population ages, so it […]

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How I first learned about racism and how I am still on a journey

June 22nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

On 21 June 1948, passengers disembarked from the liner “Empress Windrush” including some 800 from the Caribbean. Although there had been black people in Britain since the Romans, the arrival of this group of immigrants is widely regarded as the beginning of the history of multicultural Britain. Since 2018, 21 June has been known as […]

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Word of the day: Augean

June 16th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This is an adjective describing a task which is both difficult and unpleasant. The origin of the word is a story from Greek mythology involving  the king Augeas of Elis (in the western Peloponnesus) whose stables, filled with 3,000 immortal cattle, had not been cleaned for over 30 years. The cattle, moreover, were not only […]

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Word of the day: racism

June 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has resulted in protest movements, both in the United States and around the world, that have raised so many important issues and so many interesting ideas. We are seeing debates ranging from the urgent need for police reform to the long-postponed removal of offensive statues and memorials. Now […]

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A review of the 2013 film “Adore”

June 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I guess that many people would call this a woman’s movie. It is based on a short short by a woman (the novella “The Grandmothers” by Doris Lessing); it is directed by a woman (Anne Fontaine from Luxembourg); and the leading roles are taken by two women (Robin Wright and Naomi Watts as Australian best […]

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A review of the film “American Made”

June 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This 2017 film reminds me of “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007) and especially “Air America” (1990) since all three deal with true-life covert American involvement in foreign wars which were so bizarre that the movies in question are a mixture of drama and comedy and, in the cases of both “American Made” and “Air America”, daredevil […]

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Word of the day: exonym

June 2nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I confess that I had to look this word up when I saw in used by a friend in a Facebook posting (he’s a bit of a medical buff). It means: a name used by foreigners for a place (such as as Florence for Firenze or Londres for London) or a name used by foreigners to refer to […]

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A review of the recent film “Allied”

May 31st, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Brad Pitt plays French-speaking Canadian pilot Max Vatan and Marion Cotillard is the French resistance fighter Marianne Beauséjour who team up for an audacious mission in Vichy-controlled Casablanca in 1942. The action then moves to London and occupied France. Apparently inspired loosely by actual events, this film – scripted by the British Steven Knight and […]

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A review of the recent film “The Gentlemen”

May 29th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

You know what you’re getting with Guy Ritchie and this is a quintessentially Guy Ritchie movie: he co-created the story, co-wrote the script, and both produced and directed. So unsurprisingly this crime story, set in London, has a convoluted plot with plenty of violence and bad language plus a fair bit of humour. What makes […]

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Word of the day: anosmia

May 19th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The word means a loss of the sense of smell. This is often accompanied with loss of a sense of taste. One of my grandmothers had this on a permanent basis which meant that she could not smell if she had left on the gas cooker and she did not really enjoy her food. The […]

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