sun 01/02/2015

James Woodall

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

The Story of The Beatles' Last Song

Summer was nigh. In May 1969 the Lennons bought Tittenhurst Park, an 85-acre estate in the same stockbroker belt as John’s first Beatles home, Kenwood. It needed work and a while would pass before...

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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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The UK premiere of a fearsome beast in the jungle of late 20th-century musi...

The Secret World of Lewis Carroll, BBC Two

150 years on, Carroll’s surreal, truthful masterpiece under the magnifying...

Konono Nº1, Café Oto

Congolese punk-trance leaves breathless human debris in its wake

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Throat singing meets contemporary pop with compelling results

Reissue CDs Weekly: Motorpsycho

Pivotal album by Norway’s veteran genre-smashers is restored to its origina...

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The soul sensation strikes a critical nerve

Nicola Conte, Ronnie Scott's

The Italian DJ, producer and musician lights up Soho with feel-good retro s...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Liz Fraser

She put the come-hither in Brit comedies, but has done her finest work in d...

Classical CDs Weekly: Jürg Frey, Janáček, Trio Mediaeval

Minimalist piano music, rousing Czech fanfares and a vocal journey from Ice...

Kraftwerk: Pop Art, BBC Four

Kraftwerk go under the microscope for this portrait of the artists