Archive for January, 2022

A review of the new film “Belfast”

January 31st, 2022 by Roger Darlington

My first visit to Belfast was the week after the troops were put on the streets in August 1969. Subsequently my work in the House of Commons and the Northern Ireland Office took me there some 30 times and I met all the leading local politicians from Ian Paisley to John Hume. As a result, […]

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A review of the film “Personal Shopper”

January 30th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

I much admired “Clouds Of Sils Maria” which was both written and directed by the French Olivier Assayas with the American Kristen Stewart in an important support role. In “Personal Shopper”, again Assayas is both writer and director and this time Stewart is the leading actress. The story is set largely in Paris although, in […]

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A review of the important book “Seven Ways To Change The World” by Gordon Brown

January 29th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

In these troubled times when so many are depressed and even in despair about our world, it is a rare pleasure to read a book that addresses head-on most of the major problems that we face, that describes the challenges so eloquently and offers solutions that are so practical, and that is imbued with such […]

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A review of the 1944 classic “Double Indemnity”

January 25th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Based on James Cain’s novel of the same name, this classic film noir was written by Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder and directed by Wilder. The term ‘double indemnity’ refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies that doubles the payout when the death is accidental. This invitation to murder is seized upon by a femme fatale played […]

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Have you ever heard of Mardin in Turkey?

January 24th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

I hadn’t until last night when I had dinner in a Turkish restaurant called “Sumak” (the name of a spice) in the Crouch End district of north London. The walls of the restaurant are adorned with four large pictures of different cities: Paris, Rome, London, and one I did not recognise. I was told that […]

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A review of the 2016 film “The Take”

January 22nd, 2022 by Roger Darlington

This heist movie looks a bit like a French film: it is set in Paris with some great shooting of the city, many of the subsidiary characters are French actors playing French characters, and there is even a fair bit of French spoken – all of which won it French funding. Or it might be […]

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Joe Biden has now served a year as US President, so how’s it going?

January 20th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

I’m massively interested in American politics and regularly attend relevant courses and lectures – currently online – provided by London’s City Literary Institute and delivered by the college principal Mark Malcolmson. Today marks the first anniversary of Joe Biden’s tenure as U S President and this evening’s lecture reviewed the events of the last year […]

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A review of the new art house film “The Souvenir Part II”

January 18th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Writer and director Joanna Hogg always intended her story to be in two parts and originally wanted to film both segments back-to-back. However, there were funding issues, so the first film was released in late 2019 but we had to wait until early 2022 for the second.  While the first part was an account of […]

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That time when I almost went to work at 10 Downing Street …

January 17th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

All this talk of activity in 10 Downing Street reminds me that, following the appointment of Jim Callaghan as Labour Prime Minister in 1976, I was offered a position in his Political Office at No 10. Since it was a political post, it could not be paid by public funds and sufficient funding from trade […]

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A review of the new coming-of-age movie “Licorice Pizza”

January 16th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Paul Thomas Anderson has both written and directed a film set in California’s San Fernando Valley in the early 1970s and everything about the work – the clothes, the decor, the music, the television, the politics, even the style of the graphics – is redolent of the period. At its heart – and the movie […]

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