Arts features

He’s turned the screen Scarlett after a long and alien journey

By Simon Round, March 13, 2014

Jonathan Glazer is not a man in a hurry. It has been 10 years since his last movie, Birth — a discomfiting love story between Nicole Kidman and a child claiming to be her reincarnated husband. Now, finally, he has a new film. Like its predecessor, Under the Skin is dividing audiences.

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Norman Lebrecht: Musical history is a voyage of discovery

By Jenni Frazer, March 6, 2014

The BBC gave me one piece of advice,” reveals writer and broadcaster Norman Lebrecht, laughing. “They said: ‘We aren’t going to do this again for a generation. So make it comprehensive.’” For the next three Sundays on Radio 3, Lebrecht is fronting a series on Music and the Jews.

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Jay Rayner has even more on his plate as he tunes up for JW3 jazz gig

By Simon Round, March 6, 2014

In every series of Masterchef comes the day when the nervous amateur contestants are told that they are to cook for restaurant reviewers. A regular in this slot is is Jay Rayner, the Observer’s critic. He and his fellow critics walk in, steely eyed, to pronounce on the efforts of the contestants. Sometimes they are encouraging and occasionally scathing of the food which is presented to them.

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Joshua Oppenheimer: Venturing into the Indonesian Killing Fields

By Stephen Applebaum, March 3, 2014

Joshua Oppenheimer’s disturbing documentary about the 1965 Indonesian genocide and its legacy, The Act of Killing, has been winning awards (including a Bafta) and generating debate around the world for over a year. And on Sunday it was among the Oscar nominees.

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The electronic music DJ who is beating a path to the top

By Charlotte Oliver, February 27, 2014

Friday nights tend to be a mixed bag for DJ and music producer Ilan Bluestone. One week he will be lighting the Shabbat candles with his extended family in Hertfordshire. The next will find him on stage at one of the biggest nightclubs in the world, playing his music to thousands of fans.

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Hineni: Made in Wales, shown in London

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2014

There are probably more Welsh-born Jews living in London, Manchester and Israel than remain in the principality. But sometimes the traffic goes the other way.

When Londoner Colin Heyman was offered a job in Cardiff in 1980, he jumped at the chance.

“I’d never been to Cardiff but I loved Wales,” he recalls. He had fallen for the country when walking its hills as a student in Bristol.

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Simon Chinn is sweet on Oscars

By Brigit Grant, February 24, 2014

This time last year, Simon Chinn almost considered going into hiding. His phone kept ringing, begging notes were pushed under his office door and anyone who had ever met him wanted to be his friend.

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Life in Rough Trade: How Geoff Travis became a major player for indie bands

By Paul Lester, February 17, 2014

As founder of the Rough Trade record store, distribution company and label, Geoff Travis has done as much as anyone to promote indie music as an alternative to mainstream, major record company product.

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The tablet that altered the story of Noah's Ark

By Sandy Rashty, February 17, 2014

The story of Noah’s Ark has always captivated the minds of children. Many have walked animal miniatures two-by-two into toy boats, as they imagine the vessel that saved believers from 40 rainy days and nights of flood.

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Mapping out musical on street guide

By John Nathan, February 17, 2014

I walk into a Soho room where a new sweet-sounding musical about Phyllis Pearsall, who wrote the A-Z — the London street guide, not the alphabet — is being rehearsed. But then somebody says “filthy Jew”. Now I’m thinking maybe this musical is not so sweet.

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