Reviews about How-I-ended-this-summers

The Overcoat

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 28 August 2017

The story narrates the life and death of titular councillor Akaky Akakievich an impoverished government clerk and copyist in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg. Akaky is dedicated to his job, though little recognized in his department for his hard work. Instead, the younger clerks tease him and attempt to distract him whenever they can. His threadbare overcoat is often the butt of their jokes. Akaky decides it is necessary to have the coat repaired, so he takes it to his tailor, Petrovich, who declares the coat irreparable, telling Akaky he must buy a new overcoat. Russian author Nikolai…Read

The Gay Science

Bookfilm reviewed by Rob Mason on 25 July 2017

 The things people call love

 -- Avarice and Love-- what different feelings these two terms evoke! Nevertheless, it could be the same instinct that has two names-- once depreciated by those who have, in whom the instinct has calmed down to some extent, and who are afraid for their “possessions,” and the other time seen from the point of view of those who are not satisfied but still thirsty and who therefore glorify the instinct as “good.” The love of our neighbour--is not a lust for new possessions?  And likewise,…Read

West Side Story

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 25 June 2017

Today (Sunday) I went to see the musical, “West Side Story” playing at the Civic Theatre.  My reaction was that it was intensely emotional.  This was attributable to the wonderful music of Leonard Bernstein and with expressive lyrics by Stephen Sondheim’s, and breath-taking choreography by Jerome Robbins.

West Side Story is an award-winning musical adaptation of the classic romantic tragedy, "Romeo and Juliet". The feuding families become two warring New York City gangs, the white Jets led by Riff and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo. The two gangs…Read

Key Largo

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 11 April 2017

The story of two strong men who come face to face in a hotel, shut down for the summer, on a sweaty Florida key. One is a hard-bitten fellow, ex-Army and ex-idealist, who is visiting the wife and father of a buddy killed in the war. The other is an old-time gangster, run out of the country years ago, who is set upon making a comeback with the old cruelty and arrogance. John Huston, the director has obtained stinging performances out of most of his cast—notably out of Mr. Robinson, who plays the last of the red-hot…Read


film reviewed by Rob Mason on 13 March 2017

The story of Django Reinhardt, famous guitarist and composer, and his flight from German-occupied Paris in 1943.

Director: Etienne Comar

Django Reinhardt documentary




film reviewed by Rob Mason on 2 March 2017

Moonlight is a serious film about a boy (Chiron) aged 10 who lives with his mother on a Miami housing project.  The film reveals how other boys at his school tend to influence the identity of Chiron by bullying him.  He displays a shy demeanour and does not mix well.  However, he is befriended by Juan (Mahershala Ali) the local drug dealer who acts as a father figure to Chiron.  He teaches him to swim and improve his posture when sitting in a chair.  The underlying reason for his lack of integration with other boys…Read

Clouds of Sils Maria

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 27 February 2017

This film is about a woman (Juliette Binoche) who is asked to feature in a stage presentation of a film that she appeared in 20 years previously. She agrees to do it and together with her assistant (Kristen Stewart) she goes to the Waldhaus hotel overlooking the Alpine village of Sils-Maria in Switzerland to rehearse for the role.

During the summers of 1881 and 1883 to 1888 philosopher: Friedrich Nietzsche visited a nearby house in Sils Maria.  


Love Actually

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 20 February 2017

Love Actually is a 2003 Christmas-themed romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through ten separate stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many of whom are shown to be interlinked as their tales progress. Most of the film was filmed on location in London. 

The United States release was on 14 November 2003 and a week later in the United Kingdom, where it debuted to positive reviews, but received mixed-to-positive reviews in the US. The film was a box-office success, grossing almost $247 million worldwide on a…Read

I am Love

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 14 February 2017

‘I am Love’ is a film about a woman:Tilda Swinton who plays the part of Emma Recchi.  She is married to Tancredi (Pippo Delbono) and lives together with their three children, Edo (Flavio Parenti), Gianluca (Mattia Zaccaro), and Elisabetta, or Betta (Alba Rohrwacher). Tancredi the husband works in the family clothing business and shows more interest in doing this than looking after Emma his wife. The story is a universal one where a middle-aged wife loses interest in her marriage and seeks stimulation outside the home, or more particularly as…Read


film reviewed by Rob Mason on 2 February 2017

Fatima is the universal story of a solo mothers’ efforts to raise her two daughters on a limited budget. The film is based on the poetry and short prose collections, “Prayer to the Moon,” and “I can walk alone” by Fatima Elaoubi, published in Arabic in France. The three main actresses, Fatima the mother and the two daughters were non-professional actresses who had the same or similar background to the characters they portray in the film.

The film is about Fatima:…Read

A Man and a Woman

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 25 January 2017

A Man and a Woman

A Man and a Woman (French: Un homme et une femme) is a 1966 French film, written by Claude Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven, and directed by Lelouch. It is notable for its lush photography (Lelouch had a background in advertising photography), which features frequent segues between full colour, black-and-white, and sepia-toned shots, and for its memorable musical score by Francis Lai. The film had a total of 4,272,000 admissions in France and was the 6th highest grossing film of the year. The film is about a man and a woman falling in love; Jean-Louis…Read

Not Here to be Loved

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 19 January 2017

“Not here to be loved” is a carefully crafted art film that is intrinsically linked to the music of the Tango. It involves a younger woman Francoise (Anne Consigny) who is attracted to an older man, Jean-Claude (Patrick Chesnais)

Francoise is preparing to get married to a writer: Thierry (Lionel Abelanski) and is attending Tango classes for her wedding party, coincidently she meets Jean-Claude whom she knows from the past and who is at the dance studio to benefit from the physical activity involved in dancing. During the class and despite the age…Read

Bread and Tulips

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 2 January 2017

The theme of this movie is about human relationships and how a wife discovers that her husband no longer has the same feeling for her that he once did.  The husband, wife and Mimmo's mistress in this movie are: Mimmo Barletta (Antonio Catania)

Rosalba Barletta: Mimmo's accordian playing wife (Licia Maglietta)

Ketty: Mimmo's mistress (Vitalba Andrea) 

Rosalba: married at 21 but now in her late 40’s with two teenage sons 18 and 16 is no longer happy. She is vague and uncertain …Read

The Reader

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 26 November 2016

The Reader is a film about lost love and human emotions and although it has a somewhat melancholy feel about it, there is a certain poignancy that evokes subjective feelings. The story is presented in three parts, the first part (circa 1955)t tells of the sexual relationship of a teenager, Michael (David Kross) and a 30 year old woman Hanna (Kate Winslet). The second part of the story is portrayed 8 years later and introduces Ralph Fiennes as Michael.  The story involves Hanna going on trial for a…Read


film reviewed by Rob Mason on 14 August 2016

CITIZENFOUR not only shows you the dangers of government surveillance - it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser or profile, ever again.


The Wind Journeys

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 8 May 2016

'To have is to lose.'

Every now and then a film comes along that produces a most enjoyable response.  The Wind Journeys is such a film, directed by Ciro Guerra (117 minutes)   Below is a short review of the film by Ian Craig

Boy meets man on donkey. Boy follows man on odyssey to return to owner the accordion that’s been the lifelong instrument of his fame. Man refuses to teach boy to play accordion. This disarmingly simple plot forms the basis of Ciro Guerra’s second film, set…Read

Philosophy for Militants

Bookfilm reviewed by Rob Mason on 16 October 2015

Around the world, recent events have seen the creation of a radical group comprising students, the young, workers and immigrants. It is Badiou’s contention that the politics of such militants should condition the tasks of philosophy, even as philosophy clarifies the truth of our political condition. Badiou insists that the questions and priorities of philosophy at any given time are shaped by four different material activities: science, politics, art and love.

"What is our situation today - I mean, the situation of the peoploe who are comfortable enough to call themselves 'Westerners'?. …Read

Heart of Darkness

Bookfilm reviewed by Rob Mason on 12 September 2015

Heart of Darkness is a short history based novel by Joseph Conrad.  The story is about a voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State, in the heart of Africa, by the story's narrator Charles Marlow. Marlow tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames, London, England. The implication is that London and Africa are places of darkness. It is also suggested that there is little difference between so-called civilized people and those described as savages; therefore Heart of Darkness raises important questions about imperialism…Read

The Spirit of ‘45

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 29 August 2015

With the likelihood of popular, left-wing Labour Party leader: Jeremy Corbyn being elected in the UK. this impassioned documentary by Ken Loach: The Spirit of '45 should be re-visited. It celebrates the Labour landslide at the 1945 general election led by Clement Attlee and the resolve never to return again to the miserable conditions that the working class endured in the 1930s

Following this strong result at the polls, The Labour Government decided to implement the Beveridge Report. William Beveridge was an economist and provided a comprehensive "cradle-to-grave" welfare…Read