Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of the new movie “Ready Player One”

April 13th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The much anticipated and hugely hyped latest directorial offering from cinematic wunderkind Steven Spielberg is visually stunning, set substantially in a fantastical virtual world of 2045 called the OASIS. An early visit to the OASIS involves a race and the experience is genuinely thrilling. The movie is also visually rich with an unbelievable number of […]

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A review of the delightful new film “Lady Bird”

March 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It is such a rarity – but a delight – to see a maintstream movie both written and directed by a woman. As well as being a fine actress, Greta Gerwig has written before (notably “Frances Ha” and “Mistress America”) but this is her directorial début. Astonishingly (but deservedly), at the age of just 34 […]

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A review of the new movie “Tomb Raider”

March 20th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’m not sure that the world needed another Tomb Raider movie, following the Angelina Jolie outings of 2001 and 2003, but I suppose that there are too few films with women in leading action roles and I’m a big fan of Swedish actress Alicia Vikander who has now taken over the Lara Croft role and […]

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It’s been a long time since I went to the ballet …

March 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

… but this weekend I had the opportunity to spend an evening at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden viewing three short modern ballets. I found the experience magical and mesmerising. Each dance was performed by the Royal Ballet and set to a piece of music by the American composer Leonard Bertsein and […]

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How to read a film

March 17th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I spent this cold Saturday in London attending a course at the City Literary Institute. It was called “How to read a film”and delivered by Nick Scudamore. He introduced us to the term “mise-en-scene” which essential,y is everything the director chooses to put in the scene or shot on the day of shooting as contrasted […]

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A review of the new super-hero movie “Black Panther”

March 11th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

A mainstream American movie with a black director, a black writer and a largely black cast is a rarity. Last year (2017), we had “Moonlight” which won the Academy Award for Best Film. This year, we have “Black Panther” with Ryan Coogler as director and co-writer and an amazing array of black thespian talent from […]

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A review of the new action thriller “Red Sparrow”

March 6th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

A beautiful and talented actress decides to branch out into an action thriller in which she plays a tough secret agent, but this is not Charlize Theron in “Atomic Blonde”, rather it is Jennifer Lawrence who has been making some bold choices since completing the “Hunger Games” franchise: “Joy”, “Passengers”, “Mother!” and now “Red Sparrow” […]

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The 90th annual Academy Awards – and me

March 5th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

For a couple of months now, I’ve been attending a Monday evening class at the City Literary Institute in London where we have been discussing some recent successful films and comparing them to earlier movies. This evening, we’re scheduled to discuss last night’s Academy Awards. But, the film of the night is one of the […]

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A review of “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman

March 1st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In my experience, if one genuinely enquires, very few people are “completely fine” – and Eleanor Oliphant, a finance clerk in Glasgow, is far from this state of bliss. Indeed she is a deeply troubled woman of 30, although only gradually do we discover exactly why in this accomplished first novel by Honeyman. The story […]

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A review of “La Belle Sauvage” by Philip Pullman

February 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Published in 2017, we have had to wait 17 years for the first part of the trilogy “The Book Of Dust” since the publication of “The Amber Spyglass”, the final part of the trilogy “His Dark Materials”. This novel is a prequel to the other three and “La Belle Sauvage” – the name of a […]

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