Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


Why is it called the Green Room? Here’s seven possibilities.

September 23rd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This week, I had dinner with my son in a restaurant called “The Green Room”. I guess that it is called that because it is opposite a theatre. But why do theatres have a location called the green room? I’ve seen many explanations including: 1) It is a room close to the stage (that is, […]

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A review of the documentary “Three Identical Strangers”

September 20th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

We live in a golden age of the documentary when such a work can attract the resources of a small film and be made at the length of a movie and then obtain a cinematic release. This 2018 documentary film, directed by Tim Wardle, tells the incredible story of three Americans, Edward Galland, David Kellman, […]

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A review of the novel “Conversations With Friends” by Sally Rooney

September 17th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I so admired Rooney’s second novel “Normal People” (and the television adaptation) that I later went on to read her first novel “Conversations With Friends” (which is itself to be adapted for television). This initial work was written while Rooney was still studying for her Masters in Dublin and the point of view is that […]

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What does it take to stop a US President going rogue?

September 16th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

So now we learn that the United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to reassure the Chinese that America was not about to launch a pre-emptive attack on them. This is an astonishing story to emerge about the last days of the presidency of Donald Trump. It reminds me a a novel […]

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A review of the 2019 Luc Besson movie “Anna”

September 15th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

No film written and directed by the French master Luc Besson is going to be dull – or ordinary. In some senses, this is Besson’s English-language revisiting of his French-language movie “La Femme Nikita” (1990) which gave rise to a Hollywood version “The Assassin” (1993) plus different television series in Canada and the United States. […]

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A review of the new blockbuster movie “Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings”

September 6th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is a movie which has to be seen on the big screen and I saw it on the biggest screen in Britain (the BFI IMAX). It is the first work in the now huge Marvel Cinematic Universe with an Asian lead: Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu in his first film role. Indeed almost all the […]

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A review of the novel “The Motion Of The Body Through Space” by Lionel Shriver

September 1st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Lionel Shriver is actually a female American novelist who, as a tomboy aged 15, informally changed her name from Margaret Ann to Lionel. She is best known for her eighth novel “We Need To Talk About Kevin” but the only previous novel of hers that I’ve read is “The Post-Birthday World” (which was I was […]

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A review of the 2018 film “Destroyer”

August 30th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is a police thriller with a difference: the protagonist, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, is a woman – brilliantly played by Nicole Kidman – and the director is also a woman – Karyn Kusama whose partner Phil Hay is co-writer. The narrative centres around two bank robberies with many of the […]

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A review of the new movie “Free Guy”

August 23rd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

If you’ve never played a video game (I haven’t), you might struggle to work out what’s going on in the beginning of this movie. So it helps to know that it opens inside a video game where the human players are represented by characters with sunglasses and all the other figures are what are called […]

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A review of the 2018 film “All Is True”

August 20th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

It was a brave man who thought that a commercially successful film – as opposed to a reasonably appealing play – could be made about the last three years of the life of English playwright William Shakespeare during which time he retired to his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, wrote nothing, and further ruminated on the death […]

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