sat 02/07/2016

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

theartsdesk at the Holland Festival

The Holland Festival is one of the greats. It has a British director, the articulate Ruth Mackenzie, formerly of the Chichester Festival and the cultural Olympiad, now into her second year. It’s the...

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George Martin (1926-2016), record producer and 'fifth Beatle'

For many pop-pickers, the presiding image of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee will be Brian May (he – yes, of course – of Queen) grinding out the national anthem on the roof of Buckingham Palace. For me,...

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Rio+Film, Barbican

With eyes trained on sporty Rio de Janeiro once more for next year’s Olympic Games, cultural portals on to the city are bound to be offered in all sorts of places around the world. One such is Rio+...

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Hot August Night: The Beatles at Shea Stadium

Half a century ago today, on a warm August Sunday night in New York, The Beatles played a 30-minute concert in a baseball field. Home to the New York Mets the venue was called the William A Shea...

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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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latest in today

Siegfried, Opera North, Southbank Centre

A star soprano shines in the Ring’s conversation piece

CD: Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis

It sounds like a call to arms, but what lies under the surface?

David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life, Royal Acade...

An ongoing series of portraits has served as a tonic during difficult times...

Natalia Osipova, Sadler's Wells

Superstar ballerina and new partner Sergei Polunin lack lustre in self-comm...

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Freud: Genius of the Modern World, BBC Four

Dr Freud takes his turn in the psychiatrist's chair

DVD: A Month in the Country

Elegiac adaptation of a much-loved novella, returning after a long absence

Die Walküre, Opera North, Southbank Centre

The Ring's most wrenching tragedy excels with a great Wotan and Brünnh...

theartsdesk at Glastonbury Festival 2016

The real world and the weather impinged but couldn't keep Glastonbury...

Bugsy Malone, Lyric Hammersmith

Generation-bridging joy with the return of the mobster musical pastiche