Archive for March, 2022

A review of the new Norwegian film “The Worst Person In The World”

March 31st, 2022 by Roger Darlington

Joachim Trier is the co-writer and director of this Norwegian-language, Oslo-set, award-winning romantic drama which managed to secure – but not win – Academy Award nominations for Best International Film and Best Original Screenplay. Structured in 12 chapters with prologue and epilogue, it tells the story of Julie, who becomes 30 in the course of […]

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Is Ukraine an artificial state, as President Putin suggests, or a true state, as President Zelensky argues? What constitutes a nation state anyway?

March 26th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

At present, I am reading a fascinating history of Ukraine: “Borderland” by Anna Reid. What is clear is that the reality of Ukraine as a nation state is a very recent one. For many centuries, most of what we now call Ukraine was ruled by Lithuania or Poland or a combination of the two. For […]

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Let us hail Madeline Albright, the first female US Secretary of State

March 24th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

I was saddened to hear of the death of Madeleine Albright at the aged of 84 following her diagnosis of cancer. She was an outstanding public figure in American politics and the first woman to hold the post of Secretary of State (in European terms, Foreign Minister) in the Clinton administration. You can read an […]

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A review of the new film “Passing”

March 21st, 2022 by Roger Darlington

The title of this film refers to the practice of a light-skinned African-Americans passing themselves off as white, a situation which apparently was quite common in the 1920s when this story is set. The central characters are Irene (Tessa Thompson) and Clare (Ruth Negga), former New York City school friends who meet after a long […]

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A review of the new film “Ali & Ava”

March 19th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

This British film, both written and directed by Yorkshire-born Clio Barnard, is a tender love story – but an unconventional one in many respects. First, the setting: the work was shot entirely on location in Bradford with its terraced houses and grim vistas. Then the structure: while it follows the classic three-part narrative of friendship, […]

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Who was responsible for those famous Odessa Steps?

March 18th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

As the Russian invaders of Ukraine pose to attack the port of Odessa, a film enthusiast like me cannot help recalling the dramatic Odessa Steps sequence in the 1925 film “The Battleship Potemkin” famously directed by Sergei Eisenstein. Indeed this sequence inspired a similar conflict on long steps in the final scenes of the 1987 […]

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What Arnold Schwarzenegger has to say about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

March 18th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

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A review of the horror movie “Bird Box”

March 17th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

In 2018, two films were issued with remarkably similar storylines. In both “A Quiet Place” and “Bird Box”, the world was taken over by an alien force that very quickly and very largely wiped out the human population. Both works involved a feisty woman leading a local fight-back and endeavouring to locate other survivors and […]

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When did Ukraine come under Russian control and who was responsible for this?

March 16th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

The short answers are January 1654 and Bordan Khmelnytsky. Khmelnytsky was the leader of the Hetmanate Cossacks who led a successful uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of which Ukraine was then a part. At the small town of Pereiaslav, he signed an agreement that, in return for allegiance to the Russian Tsar, the Cossack Hetmanate […]

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Why did Putin order the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

March 15th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

“This war was not inevitable, but we have been moving toward it for years: the west, and Russia, and Ukraine. The war itself is not new – it began, as Ukrainians have frequently reminded us in the past two weeks, with the Russian incursion in 2014. But the roots go back even further. We are […]

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