Good Things to Come
Sometimes, it's worth taking a moment to look forward, at all the good things in our future. A selection of picks for the art worth looking forward to in 2024.
Year-end lists are so tired and... well, so last year, right? However uncertain things might seem, it’s always nice to think of all the good things in store. 2024, it turns out, has a lot of them... We asked a selection of Arcade’s friends what art they’re most looking forward to in the months ahead.
Nadia Litz, actor and film director
I am hotly anticipating Hong Sang-soo’s A Traveler’s Needs starring Isabelle Huppert, which will be premiering at this year’s Berlinale in February. This maestro/muse/muse/maestro relationship is rapidly becoming one of my favourites in cinema history. Following their revelatory collaborations on In Another Country (2012) and Claire’s Camera (2017), it’s beautiful to see a more vulnerable side to the ever-fascinating Huppert via Sang-soo’s clever gaze. Honorable mentions: Cronenberg’s The Shrouds—I read the script which can once again be described as “only from the mind of David Cronenberg”—and Guy Maddin’s Rumors starring Cate Blanchett, because, Wow! Whatta duo I didn’t know I needed!
Tamara Faith Berger, novelist
Emmanuelle, directed by French filmmaker Audrey Diwan, is loosely based on the 1967 erotic novel by Emmanuelle Arsan about a sexually adventurous woman in Thailand. It was already made into a film in 1974, a cheesy softcore that I couldn’t finish. Diwan has said that she ignored the earlier film and took intimacy coordinator classes before making her own version. I am really taken with this idea, that in the age of intimacy coordinators on set—which corresponds, I think, to the use of sensitivity readers in publishing—Diwan is taking full responsibility for the transfiguration of sexual content with roots of exploitation into art that wants eroticism to primarily be of the mind.
Read Arcade’s interview with Berger about her latest novel, Yara.
Matthew Jocelyn, General Director of Koffler Arts
In April, my partner Cybèle and I are going to spend a couple of days at Il Giardino dei Tarocchi, Niki de Saint Phalle’s visionary and playful tarot garden near Capalbio, Italy, halfway between Florence and Rome. This visit is a dream harboured by the two of us for many years, to immerse ourselves in this monumental project that Niki de Saint Phalle took on in the later years of her life: a testament to her unwavering belief in—and capacity to realize—a magnificently unreasonable project, and a way of both recognizing and celebrating the role of the spirit and of the imponderable in her own life and work.
Linda Besner, writer, poet, Arcade contributor
I’m at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity right now and have been lucky to meet the Montreal-based choral composer Marie-Claire Saindon. I’m really looking forward to the performance of an as-yet untitled piece of Saindon’s with the Oriana Women’s Choir, upcoming in Toronto in May. I’m also looking forward to Motherlike, a book on bodily autonomy and pregnancy by Ottawa poet and essayist Katherine Leyton, forthcoming in March.
Atom Egoyan, filmmaker
On February 22, my new feature film, Seven Veils, will have its international premiere at the Berlinale. Because of its unique blend of opera and cinema, I can’t think of a better place to screen the film. Berlin has three fully functioning opera houses, and the film is based around my production of Salome that was presented a year ago at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. To bring this particular work back to Germany, where it was first premiered in 1905, will be a particular thrill.
anahita azrahimi, artist and Executive Director of Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
There are so many things I’m looking forward to in 2024. Of course, DECADE at Koffler Arts. I can’t wait to see Alice in Wonderland at the National Ballet of Canada again. The production is exceptional—whimsical and humorous—with out-of-this-world modern design and a captivating score. Also, two of my favourite choreographers have pieces coming as part of the Torque series at Harbourfront Centre: Swan Lakes and Minus16. And finally, at home, we’re watching the sixth season of Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix.
Claire Foster, literary translator, writer, Arcade contributor
I’m excited for the films of Marguerite Duras to be celebrated in a retrospective at the TIFF Lightbox this April, curated by TIFF Cinematheque Senior Curator Andréa Picard. Duras’s literary legacy is much more widely known than her cinema, so I’m grateful for this opportunity for Toronto to get to know Duras through her films, which she made, she famously said, “to fill [her] time, because [she lacked] the strength to do nothing.” And I’m eager to spend time with Teju Cole’s latest feat of attention and grace, Pharmakon—a combination of photographs and short texts—which is being published by MACK Books in March.
Read Claire’s recent essay for Arcade about the book Tone by Sofia Samatar and Kate Zambreno.
David Liss, artist and curator
To be a bit self-serving, I’m curating a project that recently opened at Cultural Goods Gallery in Toronto, featuring the work of Tom Wilson Tehoháhake. There’s also an accompanying book that I wrote text for. I’m also a big fan of contemporary dance and the “Torque” program at Harbourfront, and they have a show coming in April I’m excited about—two contemporary, “edgy” interpretations of Swan Lake.