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Not Saluting, but Waving

Michael Wood, 20 February 1997

Evita 
directed by Alan Parker.
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The Making of ‘Evita’ 
by Alan Parker.
Boxtree, 127 pp., £12.99, December 1996, 0 7522 2264 3
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In My Own Words 
by Eva Perón, translated by Laura Dail.
New Press, 120 pp., $8.95, November 1996, 1 56584 353 3
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Santa Evita 
by Tomás Eloy Martínez, translated by Helen Lane.
Doubleday, 371 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 0 385 40875 7
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... imaginative device, and ought to work well. For the commentating Che Guevara of the stage musical Alan Parker has substituted a ubiquitous, many-roled Argentinian ‘bloke’ (the colloquial che is not really translatable because it is used where the parallel words are not used in other languages, but it means something like ‘pal’, or ‘mate’, or ...

Diary

Stephen Frears: That's Hollywood, 20 December 1990

... The producers were Barry Levinson and his partner, Mark Johnson. We had first met when Levinson, Alan Parker and I had dinner in London. It was a wonderfully smug affair: the last three films we had directed, Rain Man, Mississippi Burning and Dangerous Liaisons, had between them received 23 Oscar nominations. Levinson himself was to have made Donnie ...

The Wickedest Woman in Paris

Colm Tóibín, 6 September 2007

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins 
by Rupert Everett.
Abacus, 406 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 349 12058 4
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... a green Halston trouser suit.’) Next on the list are Bob Geldof and Paula Yates: According to Alan [Parker], Bob had a cock so big that he needed a wheelbarrow to carry it around in . . . But one didn’t need to have coffee with Alan Parker to know that Bob had a big ...

Plugs of Muscle

Joanna Kavenna, 5 July 2001

A Friend of the Earth 
by T.C. Boyle.
Bloomsbury, 275 pp., £15.99, October 2000, 9780747547532
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... couple who alternate between starving and gorging themselves. (The novel was turned into a film by Alan Parker, starring Anthony Hopkins, John Cusack and Bridget Fonda.) In A Friend of the Earth Boyle turns his squinting attention to environmentalism, creating a disconcerting marriage of farce and prophecy: he doesn’t doubt the looming apocalypse; he ...

A Single Crash of the Cymbals

Roger Parker, 7 December 1989

Franz Liszt. Vol. II: The Weimar Years 1848-1861 
by Alan Walker.
Faber, 626 pp., £35, August 1989, 0 571 15322 4
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Franz Liszt: A Chronicle of his Life in Pictures and Documents 
by Ernst Burger, translated by Stewart Spencer.
Princeton, 358 pp., £45, October 1989, 0 691 09133 1
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... The second part of Alan Walker’s projected three-volume life of Liszt opens with events any biographer would relish. At the height of an immensely successful, indeed unprecedented career as an international virtuoso of the piano, Liszt, aged 35 and (as he felt) nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, decided on a complete change ...

Victors’ Justice

Alan Donagan, 16 February 1984

Justice at Nuremberg 
by Robert Conot.
Weidenfeld, 593 pp., £15, October 1983, 0 297 78360 2
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The Nuremberg Trial 
by Ann Tusa and John Tusa.
Macmillan, 519 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 333 27463 6
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... Biddle, an aristocratic New Deal Democrat who had been Roosevelt’s Attorney-General, and John J. Parker, a US circuit court judge, who had been nominated to the Supreme Court in 1930 by President Hoover, but rejected by the Senate owing to opposition by labour and blacks. Although the Russians proposed that Biddle preside over the tribunal, he declined on ...

So Ordinary, So Glamorous

Thomas Jones: Eternal Bowie, 5 April 2012

Starman: David Bowie, the Definitive Biography 
by Paul Trynka.
Sphere, 440 pp., £9.99, March 2012, 978 0 7515 4293 6
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The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s 
by Peter Doggett.
Bodley Head, 424 pp., £20, September 2011, 978 1 84792 144 4
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... to the record sleeve, Bowie played most of the guitar on Diamond Dogs (1974) himself. But Alan Parker, whose contribution is acknowledged for only one song, ‘1984’, perhaps deserves more credit than that. Of the guitar part on ‘Rebel Rebel’, Parker told Trynka: ‘I can tell my own playing, and my own ...

Mozart’s Rascal

Roger Parker, 23 May 1991

Mozart in Vienna 1781-1791 
by Volkmar Braunbehrens.
Deutsch, 481 pp., £17.95, June 1990, 9780233985596
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The Mozart Compendium 
edited by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 452 pp., £24.95, September 1990, 0 500 01481 7
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Mozart and Vienna 
by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £16.95, February 1991, 0 500 01506 6
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Mozart’s Thematic Catalogue: A Facsimile 
introduced and transcribed by Albi Rosenthal and Alan Tyson.
British Library, 57 pp., £25, November 1990, 0 7123 0202 6
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The Compleat Mozart: A Guide to the Musical Works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 
edited by Neal Zaslaw and William Cowdery.
Norton, 351 pp., £19.95, April 1991, 0 393 02886 0
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... of his Thematic Catalogue, scrupulously transcribed, edited and introduced by Albi Rosenthal and Alan Tyson. The Thematic Catalogue has, as it happens, been published in facsimile before, but that earlier edition ‘did not, as does the present one, reproduce the blank but fully stave-ruled pages following Mozart’s final entry’. There are 14 of these ...

All about Me

Kevin Kopelson: Don Bachardy, 8 April 2015

Hollywood 
by Don Bachardy.
Glitterati, 368 pp., £45, October 2014, 978 0 9913419 2 4
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... I was reading – and then reviewing for this very publication – a biography of Franz Liszt by Alan Walker.* I was also reading – for amusement – the biography of Lytton Strachey by Michael Holroyd and one of Dorothy Parker by Marion Meade. In Holroyd’s book, I was most struck by some portraits – reproduced in ...

That’s Liquor!

Nick James, 7 March 1996

Leaving Las Vegas 
directed by Mike Figgis.
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... All about Eve, to any Western saloon, booze is the magnifier for all that 30-foot-tall emoting. As Alan Rudolph’s lugubrious 1995 biopic of Dorothy Parker, Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle, illustrates, it was Prohibition that made boozing an essential act of transgression among the ...

Casual Offenders

J.S. Morrill, 7 May 1981

The Justice and the Mare’s Ale 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Blackwell, 238 pp., £8.50, March 1981, 0 631 12681 3
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... Alan Macfarlane likes to shock historians out of their complacency and out of a narrow preoccupation with their own period or their own mode of historical study. He is a professionally-trained historian and a professionally-trained anthropologist and his approach is truly interdisciplinary rather than multidisciplinary ...

Captain’s Log

John Torode, 21 April 1983

Back from the Brink: An Apocalyptic Experience 
by Michael Edwardes.
Collins, 301 pp., £9.95, March 1983, 0 00 217074 4
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... icy intellect, high idealism and cheap opportunism. Here is the very influential Professor Alan Walters, economic adviser to the Prime Minister, suggesting to the BL board that closure of the company would have a beneficial effect on the economy within six months: restrictive practices would be swept away, pay increases held down and our ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2004, 6 January 2005

... 3 January. Alan Bates dies on 27 December and we break the journey from Yorkshire at Derby in order to go to his funeral. It’s at Bradbourne, a tiny village the taxi-driver has never heard of, and he and his Asian colleagues have a map session before we eventually head off into the Derbyshire hills. The cab is old and draughty, it’s beginning to snow and as we drive through this landscape of lost villages and frostbitten fields it gets more and more foggy and like a journey out of Le Grand Meaulnes ...

She Who Can Do No Wrong

Jenny Turner, 6 August 1992

Curriculum Vitae 
by Muriel Spark.
Constable, 213 pp., £14.95, July 1992, 0 09 469650 0
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... goes. ‘“I dare say,” drawled Al’ – Al being Muriel Spark’s publisher, the young Alan Maclean – ‘“that this is the shape of things to come.” It was a risky saying, for many fine first novels are followed by duds. However, I took great heart from what he said, and went on my way rejoicing.’The years leading up to this occasion for ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2000, 25 January 2001

... in the recent RA exhibition is hard to understand. 17 January. The Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker-Bowles come to The Lady in the Van. Normally royalty is guaranteed to put a frost on an audience but their presence peps things up and it’s a very good house. This is because, unlike most royal persons, the Prince of Wales actually laughs and loudly too ...

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