Archive for January, 2020


A review of the important new film “Bombshell”

January 19th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The #MeToo movement has been a much-needed and long-overdue exposition of the scale and severity of sexual harassment especially in the workplace. This important film sets out how one powerful man – Roger Ailes, the founder of the hugely successful Fox News television network – was eventually brought down for his appalling behaviour (although his […]

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How has democracy fared in the last 30 years? Some rough times, but some causes for hope.

January 18th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

If you have a bit of time for a read this weekend, this article from the “Journal of Democracy” is well worth your attention. The piece concludes: “It would be wrong to end this overview on a purely pessimistic note. Over the past century, democracy has gone through many ups and downs. The current crisis […]

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Birthday greetings to Michelle (and Catrin) – and a review of “Becoming”

January 17th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Today is the birthday of former American First Lady Michelle Obama (as well as my granddaughter no 1 Catrin) and this is as good an excuse as any to reprint my review of her bestselling biography “Becoming” and to recommend it to you (if you haven’t already read it). “Becoming” by Michelle Obama Barack and Michelle […]

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Feeling cold? Try “Frozen”.

January 15th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Frozen” “Frozen” will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first film seen by my granddaughter Catrin (one month short of her third birthday). We saw it with her little friend James (just three months older) who was also making his first visit to the cinema. Both sat through all […]

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A review of the Sam Mendes film “1917”

January 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Director Sam Mendes stunned cinema-goers with his opening sequence for the James Bond movie “Spectre”, set during The Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, when it appeared to be shot in one take of seven minutes (actually done in three shots). In retrospect, we can see that this was just a trial run […]

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A review of the latest film version of “Little Women”

January 7th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Little Women” has now been made into a feature film as often as the number of daughters in the much-loved novel by Louisa May Alcott: by George Cukor in 1933, by Mervyn Le Roy in 1949, by Gillian Armstrong in 1994, and now by Greta Gerwig who wrote as well as directed. Gerwig has assembled […]

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So what exactly is 20/20 vision?

January 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

It’s 2020 and the new year has led to lots of media references to 20/20 vision. The implication is usually that such vision is perfect, but this is too simplistic. So what exactly is 20/20 vision? The term 20/20 and similar fractions are visual acuity measurements. They also are called Snellen fractions, named after Herman […]

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What kind of country is Iran?

January 3rd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

For reasons which I don’t have to explain, the country of Iran is now in news headlines around the world. But what do you actually know about this powerful yet opaque nation? There are two ways of looking at Iran. First, we can look at the history and politics of this complex country. I have […]

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