If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you know exactly what we mean when we say that February is a dead zone: it’s still cold, still dark, and, other than the end of Dry January, there’s little cause to celebrate (unless you’re in a Carnival hotspot, in which case, lucky you!). Getting through a time like this takes fortitude: it takes sisu. A Finnish word that can refer to strength in adversity, to perseverance in a hopeless time, or to the exceptional resolve required to face a seemingly impossible undertaking, sisu is what has carried generations of Finns through the country’s notoriously long, dark and unforgiving winters. It’s the quality that keeps them outdoors hiking, biking, running and even conquering mountains when others wouldn’t even think of leaving the fireside. This month, perhaps the rest of us can also muster enough sisu to endure this final stretch of deepest winter – or to push past whatever mammoth obstacle might be lying in our way. 

Perfect If: You’ve been paying close attention and know that sisu is also the title of a film we recently featured among the must-see movies of 2023 that you might have missed. The film is not for the faint-hearted, but then again, neither is true sisu.

THE SHOWS: Early Aughts Action Reboots

This February, get ready for a dose of nostalgia with a double-header of highly anticipated reboots: Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and Amazon Prime’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The former, set to debut on 22 February, is a live-action remake of the beloved animated series of the same name, while the latter, airing on 2 February, sees Donald Glover and Maya Erskine slip into the legendary roles that gave the world Brangelina. As both series are based off of popular source material from 2005, it remains to be seen whether more, erm, experienced audiences will embrace these fresh takes on iconic IP, but early reports are optimistic.

Perfect If: You’re open-minded when it comes to reboots of your favourite stories.

THE EVENT: Carnival Season

Was January just your 2024 warm-up month? Same. Now it’s time to really kick-start the year with joy, excitement and jubilant fun: it’s Carnival season. Cities across the globe are gearing up for rich historical celebrations complete with lively music, dance and local delicacies – whether you prefer the opulent Renaissance costumes of Venice, the irreverent street parades of Cologne, the vibrant samba celebrations of Rio, the enchanting winter wonderland of Québec, the raucous Mardi Gras festivities of New Orleans or the stunning flowery festivities of Nice. Your city isn’t joining the party? A quick getaway never hurt anybody! We can even help you figure out which Carnival destination is perfect for you.

Perfect If: You beat the January blues – and that’s enough reason to celebrate.

THE FILM: The Taste of Things

Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung serves up this culinary Belle Époque tale about two things the French know best: love and cooking. Starring Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche alongside Benoît Magimel, the film is an adaptation of the 1924 novel The Life and Passion of Dodin-Bouffant, which tells the story of a wealthy, passionate gourmet chef (Magimel) and the gifted cook (Binoche) he’s openly in love with. Besides the obvious dramatic tension between the characters, the particularly elaborate cooking scenes and the authenticity of French gastronomic tradition each have their own central roles. After its 2023 Cannes win for best director, The Taste of Things is getting a wider international theatrical release this month. Whether you love a decadent vol-au-vent or a steamy romance, be ready to drool.

Perfect If: Food is your love language.

THE DOCUMENTARY: Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive

You’ve sung it, you’ve danced to it, now it’s her turn to tell the story behind it. Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive reveals the disco icon’s little-known trials and tribulations, from unhealthy relationships to challenges within the music industry, and witnesses how, four decades after the release of her 100-topping bop, Gaynor is not only surviving, but thriving. Along with archival footage, scenes from the recording of her Grammy-winning gospel album, Testimony, and intimate interviews with her closest confidants, the artist reveals firsthand what led her meteoric rise, subsequent fall, and powerful comeback. It’s Gaynor singing louder than ever: she’s really got all her life to live.

Perfect If: “I Will Survive” is your anthem for every karaoke night, dance party and shower solo.

THE PODCAST: Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative

The documentary genre is booming these days, and with it, many important stories are coming to light that deserve to be told. But what does it mean to be a documentary subject? Is it truly as liberating as we like to think? And how does the telling of a story affect the storyteller themselves? Artist, documentarian and producer Jess Shane sets out to explore these questions in her new four-part non-fiction podcast Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative. For the series, Jess has recruited four participants who will feature in their own documentaries – but rather than be backseat subjects, they will take an active role in shaping their personal narratives. Shane’s approach is an attempt at rendering the documentary process more ethical and equitable (participants are also paid for their time), yet things don’t always work out as planned – a very human twist that makes the series all the more fascinating and worth a listen.

Perfect If: It seems like everybody’s getting a documentary these days, and you’ve been wondering about the truth and the ethics of it all.

THE SOUND: MGMT’s ‘Loss of Life’

Ready for a bit of sonic time-travelling? 23 February sees MGMT, the visionary American rock band that was once the soundtrack to your college days, unveil their highly anticipated fifth studio album, Loss of Life. Bound to captivate both loyal fans and newcomers alike, the album will feature 10 new tracks and includes a collaboration with Christine and the Queens – a first for an MGMT album. Save the date, mark your calendar, and let the rhythm awaken your senses.

Perfect If: You can’t escape the nostalgia whenever “Kids” plays anywhere.


Every four years, a rare and precious gem appears on the calendar: Leap Day. Sure, you could see it as just another Thursday, but we invite you to view these extra 24 hours as an invitation, a blank canvas to do with what you will. Embrace it as an opportunity for self-care, a chance for exploration, or simply a (much-needed and greatly appreciated) pause button for the hurries of everyday life. Dive into your favourite hobbies, relish some pampering, spend the day among nature or find ways to see your city in a new light – it really is up to you. Not able to be off the clock on Leap Day itself? Set aside a non-work day this month to make use of the time. This is your gift, your opportunity to rewrite the script of a day. Seize it, as it’s a reminder that time is only what we make of it.

Perfect If: There’s something fun you’ve been dying to do, but you just haven’t yet found the time for it.

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