Archive for February, 2019


February 28th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Owing to the owner moving from a large house to a small flat, the following items are looking for a loving home: 474 film magazines: “Film Review” from January 1978 to December 2008 and “Empire” from July 2009 to December 2018  281 film brochures: popular movies of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s These magazines and brochures […]

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The song “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”

February 27th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Looking at this week’s Academy Awards, I thought that “Green Book” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”, while good films, received too many awards, while I was sorry that “A Star Is Born” did not do better. The Lady Gaga song “Shallow” did deservedly win an award and you might like to listen to it below. If you’re not […]

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Word of the day: gobbet

February 26th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

A gobbet — from the Middle English word for a chunk of meat — is an extract from a primary source put forward for analysis. I’m doing a history course at the City Literary Institute in central London and our lecturer assigns us a gobbet each week to consider. It is literally a ‘chunk’ of […]

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Not only does slavery still exist, but more people are enslaved than any other time in history

February 25th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“The word “slavery” conjures up images of shackles and transatlantic ships – depictions that seem relegated firmly to the past. But more people are enslaved today than at any other time in history. Experts have calculated that roughly 13 million people were captured and sold as slaves between the 15th and 19th centuries; today, an estimated 40.3 […]

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When 10,000 people turned up for a lecture on cosmology

February 25th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Actually it was called “a show” but it filled the SSE Arena at Wembley in north-west London on Sunday evening as people of all ages arrived for the sell-out performance. The show was titled “Universal Adventures In Space And Time World Tour 2019” and delivered by Professor Brian Cox of the University of Manchester and television […]

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A review of the new film “If Beale Street Could Talk”

February 24th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Writer and director Barry Jenkins won the Academy Award for Best Picture with “Moonlight” and, two years later, he has another artistic success to his credit. Again he both writes and directs; again he uses James Laxton as cinematographer; again he adapts an existing work (this time a James Baldwin novel); again we have a […]

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The making of American power (1): the end of the Second World War

February 23rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This week, I started a new eight-week evening class at London”s City Literary Institute. The title is “The making of American power: US foreign policy from the Cold War to Trump” and our lecturer is Jack Gain. Week 1 of the course discussed the nature of state power and the post-war reconstruction of Europe. State […]

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Thought the American mid-term elections were over three months ago? Well, not in North Carolina.

February 22nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This week, North Carolina election officials ordered a new contest in the 9th Congressional District, ending a dramatic months-long investigation into allegations of widespread ballot-tampering and potentially refocusing the national debate about election fraud.  The board voted unanimously to throw out the November results between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready after Harris, an […]

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Time to bring Facebook to book

February 18th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“Facebook is an out-of-control train wreck that is destroying democracy and must be brought under control. The final report of parliament’s inquiry into fake news and disinformation does not use this language, precisely, but it is, nonetheless, the report’s central message. And the language it does use is no less damning. Facebook behaves like a “digital gangster”. […]

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A review of the recent film “Funny Cow”

February 17th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I saw this film this weekend in a church hall in London’s Winchmore Hill where it was shown by a community cinema project called “Talkies” and followed by a question & answer session with Lindsey Coulson, a local actress who plays the drunkard mother of the titular character, a comedienne attempting to succeed in the […]

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