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2024–finally, a year when art turns on the system?

Some of the film, music and art that Socialist Worker is looking forward to
Issue 2886
Silver Haze, in cinemas 29 March

Silver Haze is in cinemas 29 March along with other culture and art

The Settlers, in cinemas 2 February

The Settlers, directed by Felipe Gálvez, has been described as an “anti-colonial” Western. Set in Chile at the beginning of the 20th century, a wealthy landowner  sends three horsemen to mark the borders of his land. The men quickly find their real task is to play a part in the genocide of the Indigenous population. 

Getting It Back—The Story Of Cymande, in cinemas 16 February  

Led by Patrick Patterson on guitar and Steve Scipio on bass, Cymande was a brilliant funk band formed in 1970s south London. But the racism of the British music industry meant Cymande was ­overlooked. The band members became disillusioned and broke up in 1975.

In 1980s and 1990s, however, many hip hop artists sampled their work and brought it to a far wider audience. Today, Cymande is once again playing live and its records have all been re-pressed. The new film uses archival footage and interviews with artists inspired by their music. 

Mickey 17, in cinemas on 29 March 

Mickey 17 is a new sci-fi film from Parasite director Bong Joon-ho starring Robert Pattinson, Steven Yeun and Toni Collette.

In a dystopian future, Pattinson plays a disposable clone human who is forced to try and colonise the ice world, Niflheim. After his body dies, a new one is regenerated for him. Unfortunately, all his bad ­memories are carried over into every new body. 

Silver Haze, in cinemas 29 March

Franky is a nurse living with her large family in east London. For 15 years she has been unable to move on from a traumatic fire that engulfed her home when she was a child, leaving her scarred.

Enter Florence, one of her patients, with whom she embarks on a transformative relationship. Silver Haze is a tale of family and love written and directed by Sacha Polak. 

Kneecap, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January and released in cinemas later this year.

The rise of Belfast-based rap trio Kneecap is the focus of a new Irish‑language film that charts the band’s rise to prominence in 2019. Blending documentary and drama, the film captures the pains and the highs of the band that grew up in Northern Ireland after the Troubles.

“Wherever we go we aim to smash preconceptions about cultural identity and language and to highlight the role of the working classes to ­overthrow oppressive power,” the group said in a ­collective statement. The band is also set to release a new album this year.

Declan McKenna—What Happened to the Beach? Out 9 February 

North London born McKenna has a cheerful, catchy glam rock indie-pop style. Interestingly one of his most popular songs is “British Bombs”, which is a welcome swipe at the arms trade. McKenna is a solid supporter of the Palestinian cause. It’ll be interesting to see what the 25 year old does with his third album.

Idles—Tangk. Out on 16 February

Idles return with its fifth studio album. Lead singer Joe Talbot says this one’s all about love. The first single, Grace, sounds like it wouldn’t have been out of place on Manchester band James’ classic 1990 album Gold Mother—so let’s see what the new album will sound like. 

Hurray for the Riff Raff —The Past is Still Alive. Out 23 February 

Judging from the latest single, the New Orleans band led by Alynda Mariposa Segarra sounds like it might be moving in a more laid-back country direction.

This comes after their synth-heavy Life On Earth album. The band has shone consistently across different styles of music.

Nadine Shah—Filthy Underneath. Out 23 February

South Tyneside’s Nadine Shah’s last album, Kitchen Sink, released in 2020, was a brilliantly bold addition to her work. If her recent singles Topless Mother and Twenty Things are anything to go by, her forthcoming album should be great, too.

Yard Act—Where’s My Utopia? Out 1 March

The Leeds indie rock anti‑capitalist wits are set to return with a new album in March. Lyrical expectations run very high.

Major galleries coming to terms with oppression art 

  • Entangled Pasts (1768-NOW) Art, colonialism and change

Royal Academy of Arts from 3 February to 28 April

  • Now you see us—­women artists in ­Britain 1520-1920

Tate Britain, London. From 16 May to 13 ­October

The Royal Academy of Arts addresses the decades when it handled the profits of slavery and colonialism with this new exhibition. It features over a hundred pieces interrogating themes of slavery, empire, colonialism, and resistance.

Works by modern artists Sonia Boyce, Frank Bowling, John Akomfrah and Isaac Julien will feature alongside those by earlier artists such as JMW Turner and John Singleton Copley.

The show includes large-scale works, such as the life-size painted cut-out figures in Lubaina Himid’s installation Naming the Money. Reclaiming hidden history will also be a theme at Tate Britain later in the Spring. 

Women’s art from the Tudor times to just after the First World War features in one of the biggest exhibitions of the year. Featured artists include Mary Beale, Angelica Kauffman, Elizabeth Butler and Laura Knight. Many of these women would have fought to be considered professional artists rather than amateurs. The spirit of redress continues.

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