Archive for August, 2019

Mamma mia! How can one understand Italian politics?

August 31st, 2019 by Roger Darlington

The General Election of 4 March 2018 produced a complex result and negotiations to form a new government – Italy’s 66th government since the Second World War – eventually took almost three months. The new governing alliance was an unlikely combination of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), which has most of its support in […]

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A review of the Spanish film “Pain And Glory”

August 30th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Described as the third part of an “unplanned trilogy” which began with “Law Of Desire” (1987) and continued through “Bad Education” (2004), it is not necessary to have seen the earlier films (I haven’t) to enjoy the final part of this triptych written and directed by the Spanish Pedro Almodóvar, but it helps if you’re […]

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A review of the novel “Fear Of Dying” by Erica Jong

August 29th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

American author Erica Jong wrote the mega best-selling novel “Fear Of Flying” in 1973 and the non-fiction “Fear Of Fifty” in 1994 and now she comes up with her 11th novel “Fear Of Dying” which was published in 2015. Although a novel, it is clearly inspired by the author’s loss of her two aged parents […]

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A review of the new Tarantino movie “Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood”

August 28th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Quentin Tarrantino’s ninth movie – while much lauded – is not my favourite (I think that would be “Kill Bill”), but it is classic material from the idiosyncratic director with all his usual quirks and playfulness that so delight us fans of his. A recurrent theme of his work is his wish to revisist and […]

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What is the capital of Indonesia?

August 27th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Top of my bucket list is the aspiration – so long as I have the health and wealth – to have visited as many countries as my age. I have now been to 73 countries and I am 71, so I’m currently managlng to hit the target. The most populous nation is the world that […]

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Who will challenge Trump for the Republican candidacy and will it make any difference?

August 26th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

There are still over 20 politicians seeking to become the Democratic candidate in the US presidential election of 2020. I’ve seen most of them interviewed on “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah and any of them would be a dramatic improvement on the current occupant of the White House. Most are very fluent and many […]

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A review of the 1941 Hitchcock movie “Suspicion”

August 25th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

There is a sense in which any film directed by Alfred Hitchcock is a classic but this is one of his lesser-known works. Set in upper-class, rural England, it stars the beautiful Joan Fontaine as Lina, an unworldly young woman who falls immediately and madly in love with a known scoundrel and manipulator called Johnny, […]

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Today is International Slavery Day …

August 23rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

… or, to give it the full official name, International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic trans-Atlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. 23 August of each year […]

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How Netanyahu could lose; how Boris could be beaten; and why voting matters

August 19th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

There’s an election going on in Israel right now and incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is widely expected to retain power, but my friend Eric Lee has written an interesting column for the “Times of Israel” explaining how Netanyahu could lose. The argument rests on the supposition that Israeli Arabs – who comprise a fifth […]

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The inverted yield curve – or why the American economy might be heading for a recession (followed by the world economy of course)

August 18th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“Every recession of the last 60 years has been preceded by an inverted yield curve. The term is off-puttingly wonky but it just means investors see trouble ahead. There’s some argument that the oracular power of inversions ain’t what it used to be thanks to the aggressive monetary policies that have been pursued by central banks […]

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