wed 23/07/2014

James Woodall

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Bio
James wrote (1999-2010) for the Financial Times, The Economist and Dance Europe, mainly from Berlin. His books include a biography of Jorge Luis Borges, a study of Rio's music through the life and work of Chico Buarque, and an account of the marriage of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He's now a writer back in England.

Articles by James Woodall

Caetano Veloso, Barbican

Caetano Veloso gets more extraordinary. After his 2010 show in London, one critic (me) said that at 67 his “wings seemed a little clipped”. Maybe that show, which was quite short, wasn’t the best he’...

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Berlinale 2014: 20,000 Days on Earth

He cuts a dash, that man Cave. Very tall, gangly, with his idiosyncratic snub nose and upside-down-U-shaped hair, the Australian is a one-off. His growly music isn’t always easy to like. In his fury...

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Berlinale 2014: Boyhood

Not the least remarkable thing about Richard Linklater's Boyhood is its being shot over a decade – that’s probably a first in film history. And it’s more than a sociological experiment,...

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Berlinale 2014: Triptyque

French-Canadian Robert Lepage is a clever theatre inventor and tireless dramatist. This includes film, though with much less frequency than his stage pieces. The latter have refined themselves into...

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King Lear, National Theatre

Sam Mendes thinks King Lear is a bigger play than it is. In a new staging he directs at the National Theatre, he wants it to be about a convulsion of nations, a reordering of borders, bombing...

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theartsdesk in Locarno: All About the Wet Bits

Feuchtgebiete has been the talk of Locarno. The word combines “damp” or “moist” with “areas” – yes, you might guess what’s coming. English-born, German-bred Charlotte Roche published in 2008 a novel...

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Tomatito, Sadler's Wells

He looks the part: straggly, desert hair and haunted fizzog. He sounds the part: opening dry rhythmic strumming over unchorded strings; acrobatic trills; percussive attack. Flanked on the left by two...

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The Dark Side of the Moon: Introducing Prog

In 1973 certain world events carved themselves, a bit like the faces on Mount Rushmore, deep into the landscape of the late 20th century. No sooner had Richard Nixon begun to end the Vietnam War than...

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Berlinale 2013: The Winners

The 2013 Golden Bear in Berlin has gone to Poziţia Copilului (Child's Pose), by Romanian director Călin Peter Netzer. Starring Luminita Gheorghiu as a mother, Cornelia, drumming up support for her...

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Berlinale 2013: Side Effects, Night Train to Lisbon, Reaching for the Moon

Big hitters have graced Berlin, with the festival now reaching its close - Damon, Huppert and Binoche have been and gone, Deneuve is yet to come - but one of the more anticipated visits this week was...

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Berlinale 2013: Before Midnight

They’re in trouble. They had to be. Otherwise there’d be no drama. And if you’re a fan of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) skip the next two paragraphs to avoid...

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Berlinale 2013: Don Jon's Addiction, Charlie Countryman, Vic+Flo, Gloria

Great fun on day three in Berlin: Scarlett Johansson co-stars in a porn movie. Well, a movie about a young man’s love of porn sites, in which she flashes her famous curves - and starts sleeping with...

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Berlinale 2013: The Grandmaster, Promised Land, More Than Honey

Ecology at the first full day of the Berlin film festival. An intriguing Matt Damon city-versus-country movie, Promised Land, puts fracking into the mainstream for the first time. Damon plays Steve...

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Batsheva Ensemble, Sadler's Wells

Batsheva Dance Company is reaching its half-century, which makes it, as one of the world’s leading dance brands, not quite as old – or as young – as Israel, but Martha Graham helped launch it several...

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DVD: Your Sister's Sister

With her jewel-blue eyes and intense presence, Emily Blunt can illuminate anything – a screen, a stage, a red carpet, any location for any old interview. She might seem unable to put a foot wrong....

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Continu, Sasha Waltz & Guests, Sadler's Wells

When she broke through in the mid-1990s, with her preposterously appropriate surname, Berlin-based Sasha Waltz was all about cheek and chutzpah. Her choreography in pieces such as Twenty to eight and...

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