New Years are often characterised by unfulfilled potential. Long lists of resolutions, self-betterment yet to be done, hope for new habits that will overcome unhelpful patterns. Yet all these promises can prove demoralising, so rather than focusing on resolutions we choose to indulge in the promise of new art! New ways of perceiving the world that have yet to be fully expressed. How exciting! Here are some things I am looking forward to in the New Year:
Blitz (dir. Steve McQueen)
Steve McQueen remains one of the most exciting directors, intimately understanding how the scale of cinema can convey important stories without talking down to an audience. He manages to imbue blockbusters with a weight and clarity reminiscent of big, standalone films from the mid-1990s, (I maintain that Widows is one of the best cinema-going experiences I had in the 2010s.) His upcoming film will star Saoirse Ronan and Harris Dickinson in a story about Londoners during the height of World War 2. No one is better at drawing together an ensemble, balancing unlikely actors in exciting patterns, hopefully Blitz will be no exception.
This Is Why (Paramore)
Paramore are mostly associated with the pop-punk sound of the mid-2000s, but they have quietly proven themselves to be the most consistently impressive performers in popular music. Their most recent album, After Laughter, was released in 2017; like a ripe peach , the sickly sweet 80s sound of the album peels away to reveal a hard pit, a roster of songs dealing with the confines of mental illness. It is an underappreciated classic. From the two singles released from This is Why it seems Paramore is returning to the familiar sound of soaring electric guitars, now blended with a maturity and an appropriate disinterest in fame.
Renaissance Visuals from Beyoncé
A girl can dream…
Untitled album (Rihanna)
The greatest will-they-won’t-they romance in history is the one between Rihanna and her perpetually impending ninth studio album. (See above for further comments.)
Succession season 4
Succession is the best show on television, a searing cultural commentary that manages to transcend any of the predictability of other programmes saddled with that label. Despite always vying in the drama categories of awards shows it is really a black comedy, wielding humour to keep its audience invested in the business machinations that make up the plot. The recent, brilliant mini-season of I Hate Suzie (aptly titled I Hate Suzie Too,) from Lucy Prebble (a writer for Succession) and Billie Piper, only made me more excited for Succession season 4.