Archive for February, 2019

And how did you spend Valentine’s Day?

February 15th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I visited Manchester for the day with my new partner. We went to the People’s History Museum to join a special tour of the main galleries and hear about love stories through history – an event billed as “a perfect date for romantic radicals”. Mary Wollstonecraft strongly disagreed with the treatment of women within the institution […]

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How a slave revolt in Haiti doubled the size of the United States

February 14th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I used to love “The West Wing” not just for its entertainment value but because I learned things. To some extent, the same is true with the current political series “Madam Secretary”. It was thanks to a episode recently screened in the UK (we are behind the US) that I learned how the United States […]

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A review of the new sci-fi movie “Alita: Battle Angel”

February 13th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

A movie co-written and co-produced by the legendary James Cameron (“Avatar”) and co-written and directed by the innovative Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City”) was always going to mean that something special was on offer and attract the attention of this sc-fi fan and I made sure to see it on an IMAX screen in 3D.  Set […]

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On the 40th anniversary of the revolution in Iran, how much do you know about the country and its people?

February 11th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

According to the Wikipedia page on the Iran revolution, it took place between 7 January 1978 – 11 February 1979, so today marks the 40th anniversary of this enormously important event, but few people know much about this large and important nation. Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilisations, with […]

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A review of the new movie” Green Book”

February 10th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

We are back in the territory of “Driving Miss Daisy” but with a role reversal. Here the driver is white – a traditional, working-class, family-orientated Italian-American – while the passenger is black – an educated and cultured African-American pianist who is a lonely figure unable to identify with either black or white communities. Another major […]

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A review of the new film “Mary, Queen Of Scots”

February 9th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

In 1972, I went to the cinema to a see a film with exactly the same title, telling the same late 16th century story, with Vanessa Redgrave as the Scottish Catholic queen and Glenda Jackson as her English Protestant cousin and rival Elizabeth.  Almost half a century later, I returned to the theatre to see […]

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Why has it taken us so long to address the issue of harmful content on the Internet?

February 8th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

It’s good to hear that the news that Instagram is now going to remove self-harm images and encouragement to suicide from its service. But why has it taken so long and why is the industry not adopting a more comprehensive approach to harmful content of different kinds? Almost two decades ago, I became the first […]

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A review of the new film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

February 8th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

On the face of it, this is not a story that would have seemed to have had sufficient appeal to succeed as a movie, since it is centred on two profoundly lonely souls, one of whom is a forger, the other of whom is a serial trickster, both of whom drink far too much and […]

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At last, a short and simple explanation of the Brexit negotiations

February 7th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

David Cameron made a promise he didn’t think he’d have to keep to have a referendum he didn’t think he would lose. Boris Johnson decided to back the side he didn’t believe in because he didn’t think it would win. Then Gove, who said he wouldn’t run, did, and Boris who said he would run, […]

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A review of the historical novel “Munich” by Robert Harris

February 3rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This is the latest and twelfth historical novel from this acclaimed master storyteller and the sixth that I have enjoyed. Whereas the first, “Fatherland”, presented a counterfactual view of the end of the Second World War – Germany and Britain sign a peace treaty and Hitler lives to be 75 – “Munich” is an essentially […]

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