It’s been quite a while, huh, sweethearts? I decided to take a moment off to focus on what was important during the Holidays. I think you will all agree that it was a sensible decision and you will forgive me for it.
Now let’s get right back on track. My last post of 2019 was about art and how it can soothe your soul. I also gave a little comforting list of art that makes me feel better, so if you haven’t read it yet, go check it out.
Art can help you at any time, not just during the holidays.
In the same spirit, I wanted to talk about art once more. I love this period especially for the artistic community, from late September to March. It is the time where all the biggest productions come out because they want to come out close to the award seasons. A lot of the best films come out during this time and it makes for a great time for film buffs (like myself). Premieres and awards shows are my little guilty pleasures. Not only for the handsome actors walking down the red carpets (although simply scrolling through Instagram and finding new pictures of my favorite actors is always a great moment for me), but for the new wave of fiction that is coming my way. Especially this year, I was beyond excited for the content coming up.
While we are in the middle of award season, I wanted to talk to you about it as well and do my own little award ceremony.
Let’s start with the art that made my 2019 better. This year, art has surrounded me more than ever. I went out of my way to consume it and appreciate it more. I went to a lot of different types of shows, plays, I visited pretty much every cinema in my city, I went in other cities to watch shows, I discovered art I thought I wouldn’t like, and I shared art with a lot of people. I realized this when I did a list of the art that touched me this year. There was something on my list for every month. I was lucky enough to have the luxury of it and I am grateful for it. In this post, I want to talk about the ones that were most important.
First off, let’s talk books.
I have read 45 books this year. My goal was 40! Before you get shocked by this number, just remember I am a literature student and most readings are also my homework. I enjoy reading, I always have, but not every book is life-changing. I read a few good books this year, but one that really grasped my attention was Defending Jacob by William Landay. It didn’t come out in 2019, but it was brought to my attention because they are making a series based on it. Okay, Chris Evans plays in it, so this is primarily why I got interested. But I’ve decided that sometimes, although art is brought to your attention by something quite superficial, that piece may as well surprise you for what it is, on its own. Anyway, the story brought me to tears and made me very angry when I closed the book. Which is great, because it means I was involved in it, the writer did a wonderful job at making me forget this story wasn’t real. Also, it means that I am very, very excited to see this show in 2020!
Another book I really loved was Du bon usage des étoiles by Dominique Fortier. It’s a book I had to read for school. I have always been suspicious and reluctant towards school books, because they rarely interest me and honestly, often they bore me to death – oops. This one was no different, or so I thought. I didn’t notice how the storyline started being intriguing and how the main character really grew on me, until I was crying in the living room, reading the last few chapters. I was shouting lines to my mom and I ended up reading her the last chapters out loud. We were both crying. Ever since I share this majestic book to everyone. My classmates didn’t all appreciate the book, but it resonated in me in a very specific way and it grasped my attention and my heart. It made me realize that my assumptions about school books are not always right and that I should be more open. It’s not because a book is mandatory that it will be bad. If I have a better attitude, the books usually end up surprising me. Be more open and art will surprise you. I encourage you to do the same – with everything.
Let’s move on to theatre.
I was lucky enough to see a few plays this year. I think it was the year I saw the most plays, actually. I know theatre isn’t the most popular art form for young adults, but I encourage you to go out of your comfort zone and watch one. It is such a unique moment. You get into the story, so much that it takes you somewhere else. Plus, it’s very mesmerizing to witness the actors on stage, right in front of you. It is such a vulnerable art. There is a bunch of people crazy enough to stand in front of you and act out a story. There are a million things that could go wrong, yet they enjoy to share the thrill of a live performance with their audience. This year, I saw five plays and they were all excellent. So I really encourage you to find a night to go to the theatre and discover one of the oldest form of art.
I also went to a few concerts. Big ones in huge stadiums and small, private ones. I learned a lot about myself and about art through these. I went to the Jonas Brothers concert and this is where I learned that it’s not always about what you see, but who you’re seeing it with. It was a memorable night, but mostly because I had a lot of fun with a good friend. It was more important than seeing the Jonas Brothers from – very, very – far away. They looked like tiny smurfs, but my friend was alive and close, and we danced the night away. A smaller show I attended was Rend Collective. They are a Christian band that my mom loves. We travelled for three hours to see them and we danced like never before. Seeing my mom so happy and sharing this moment with her made me feel alive. On the other hand, I went to see the same artist twice in six months. His name is Émile Proulx-Cloutier and he is a singer, but also an actor that I’ve always loved. His show brought me to tears, made me laugh, made me think, touched me, I could never get enough of it and of him. We weren’t more than 200 people in the room and it was magical. He said that it was a rare moment where you didn’t have to put a mask on. I very much appreciated this freedom. Seek out those moments where you feel the most alive.
It’s no surprise that I will say that my most anticipated film this year was Avengers: Endgame. I waited in line for at least two hours with my friend to have great seats. The movie was a rollercoaster of emotions. With this film, I just wanted to say that you are never too old. You are never too old for anything that makes you happy and alive. Also, two movies that came out in the last months, perfectly timed for the award nominations, were Jojo Rabbit and Knives Out. Jojo Rabbit is a satire about Hitler. This enough can scare you away, but I swear it was fun and funny and touching and smart and everything in between. I remember seeing this with my good friend that is also a cinema buff and hearing him react to the storyline touched me. It made me realize how art reunites us. And well, Knives Out. Chris Evans – the love of my life – starred in it, so I was happy just about that. But the movie itself surprised me and intrigued me. I came into the theatre to watch a good movie that my favourite actor played in, mostly to look at his beautiful face, but I came out mesmerized by the intelligence of the screenplay and the power of storytelling. So much actually, that I went back to the cinema to watch it again.
In 2020, I am looking forward to the new art that will cross my path. I already have plays and concerts planned for the year, and I know that school books will come by really soon, but I also cannot wait to be surprised by the things that will happen naturally. The things that were not planned months in advance, the new discoveries on the radio, the surprises on tv. I am open to art more than ever and I know art will not fail me.
For this year, I hope art surrounds you and makes you realize that humans can be incredible. I hope you open your eyes to the beauty of this life, even when it feels and looks dark. There is always a little bit of sunshine somewhere, just look for it. I hope 2020 is for you exactly like when you were a kid and you stayed up late to read under the covers with a flashlight. I hope you have this same kind of wonder that pushes you towards art.
I hope to see much more of you in this new year and I cannot wait for the new content we have prepared for you, my sweethearts. In the meantime, check out our Facebook page and group on which you can share your favourite artistic moments and your talents, it will not deceive you!