The host of Writers & Company, Eleanor Wachtel, speaks in-depth with 10 of the world's most exciting and influential artists. Filmmakers, architects, painters, musicians, composers and performers open up about their lives, careers and latest creations.

Past Episodes

  • Tuesday December 20, 2016

    WOTA - Kent Monkman

    Wachtel On The Arts - Kent Monkman

    It's impossible to walk past a work by First Nations artist Kent Monkman without being seduced into a closer look. Whether it's a sublime landscape, a striking mixed-media installation, or a vivid performance, he's got you engaged. Multi-layered, immersive, and playfully perverse, Monkman's work tells the other story of Canada.

    Posted: Dec 20, 2016 12:00 AM ET
    Last Updated: Apr 19, 2016 3:38 PM ET
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  • Tuesday November 15, 2016

    Ai Weiwei

    Wachtel on the Arts - Ai Weiwei

    Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been called “the most powerful artist in the world” and “a contemporary icon of resistance.” He’s reached an almost unprecedented level of international fame, both for his powerful work that blends Chinese history, craft, and politics with tough political criticism and the formal language of contemporary art.

    Posted: Nov 15, 2016 12:00 AM ET
    Last Updated: Nov 15, 2016 11:56 AM ET
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  • Tuesday October 18, 2016

    Paul Verhoeven

    Wachtel On The Arts - Paul Verhoeven

    With movies such as Robocop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, and Black Book, Dutch-born director Paul Verhoeven is always pushing the limits and challenging audiences. He calls his new movie, Elle, his most subversive film yet. Verhoeven talks to Eleanor Wachtel at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival about growing up in the Netherlands during the Second World War, how that influenced him as a filmmaker, his careers in Holland and Hollywood, why he’s a believer in realism, and working with Isabelle Huppert.

    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 3:25 PM ET
    Last Updated: Oct 18, 2016 10:43 AM ET
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  • Tuesday September 20, 2016

    Thomas Vinterberg

    Wachtel On The Arts - Thomas Vinterberg

    With films such as "The Celebration " and "The Hunt", Danish director Thomas Vinterberg is interested in exploring themes of family and community- with a particularly Scandinavian twist. Vinterberg talks to Eleanor Wachtel about growing up in a commune in Copenhagen, how it inspired him to become a filmmaker, and about his touching new film, "The Commune."

    Posted: Sep 20, 2016 3:03 PM ET
    Last Updated: Sep 20, 2016 12:27 PM ET
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  • Tuesday June 21, 2016

    Architect Jacques Herzog

    Wachtel On The Arts - Jacques Herzog

    ​From sports stadiums, to art galleries to concert halls, Swiss "star architects" Jacques Herzog and his partner, Pierre de Meuron, design buildings that attract people -- and make them want to stay there. From his home base in Basel, Jacques Herzog talks to Eleanor Wachtel about how architecture reflects a city -- and also changes it.

    Posted: Jun 21, 2016 3:40 PM ET
    Last Updated: Jun 21, 2016 12:08 PM ET
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  • Tuesday May 17, 2016

    Wachtel On The Arts - Katie Mitchell

    Wachtel On The Arts - Katie Mitchell

    Eleanor Wachtel speaks with Katie Mitchell, an innovative theatre director committed to feminism, surrealism, and following stage directions that were meant to be impossible. The actor Benedict Cumberbatch calls her “a real European master craftswoman," a nod to Mitchell's 'auteur' approach to directing, and a style that seems rooted in the theatre of Germany and Eastern Europe, rather than her native England.

    Posted: May 17, 2016 3:43 PM ET
    Last Updated: May 17, 2016 11:38 AM ET
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  • Tuesday March 15, 2016

    Bjarke Ingels

    Wachtel On The Arts - Bjarke Ingels

    ​The "world's hottest architect" (Globe & Mail) sits down with Eleanor Wachtel to talk about why power plants should come fitted with ski hills and blow rings of steam into the air, why a downtown Toronto apartment block should look more like a "pixellated mountain range", what skyscrapers have to learn from igloos, and why the final tower to be built on the site of the World Trade Centre in New York City will include large outdoor gardens on the 50th floor. Denmark's Bjarke Ingels, currently the "toast of New York" (WIRED Magazine), on the art of architecture today.

    Posted: Mar 15, 2016 11:13 AM ET
    Last Updated: Mar 15, 2016 12:14 PM ET
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  • Tuesday February 16, 2016

    Wachtel On The Arts - Karim Rashid

    Wachtel On The Arts - Karim Rashid

    As a boy aboard a ship to Canada, Karim Rashid won a children’s art contest—with a picture of luggage. Today the Egyptian-born, New York-based Rashid is one of the best known figures in the world of industrial design, creating products that are unusual, stylish and functional. His distinctive playful approach has won him many awards, but he argues above all for design that’s democratic and relevant to our lives today.

    Posted: Feb 16, 2016 2:55 PM ET
    Last Updated: Feb 16, 2016 11:48 AM ET
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  • Tuesday January 19, 2016

    Sir Nicholas Hytner

    Wachtel On The Arts - Sir Nicholas Hytner

    British theatre director and filmmaker Sir Nicholas Hytner talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new movie, The Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith. It reaches Canadian movie theatres this week, and tells the real-life story of a homeless woman who ended up living for fifteen years in the driveway of one of England's most famous playwrights, Alan Bennett.

    Posted: Jan 19, 2016 12:00 AM ET
    Last Updated: Jan 19, 2016 4:36 PM ET
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  • Tuesday December 15, 2015

    Wachtel on the Arts - Anish Kapoor

    Wachtel On The Arts - Anish Kapoor

    Sculptor Anish Kapoor is known for his iconic works of 'public' art in major world cities, although the works themselves are often introspective, speaking to the most private questions of the self, the unconscious, and the mystery of existence. Eleanor Wachtel speaks to Anish Kapoor about his life, ideas and artistic journey.

    Posted: Dec 15, 2015 12:00 AM ET
    Last Updated: Dec 15, 2015 1:37 PM ET
  • Tuesday November 17, 2015

    Corneliu Porumboiu

    Wachtel On The Arts - Corneliu Porumboiu

    Corneliu Porumboiu is one of the youngest and most recognized names in what’s been dubbed the “Romanian new wave.” Since his debut film in 2006 -- 12:08 East of Bucharest --all of his work has won major awards. His latest film, The Treasure, is no exception: unusually uplifting, it’s been described as a “delightful fusion of contemporary fairy tale and political parable.”

    Posted: Nov 17, 2015 3:06 PM ET
    Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015 8:04 AM ET
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  • Tuesday October 20, 2015

    Canadian Opera Company - Pyramus and Thisbe

    Wachtel On The Arts - Barbara Monk Feldman/Christopher Alden

    As the Canadian Opera Company prepares for the world premiere of 'Pyramus & Thisbe', Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the opera's Canadian composer, Barbara Monk Feldman, and the show's American director, Christopher Alden.

    Posted: Oct 20, 2015 4:03 PM ET
    Last Updated: Oct 20, 2015 3:13 PM ET
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  • Tuesday September 22, 2015

     Edmund de Waal

    Wachtel On The Arts - Edmund de Waal

    British ceramicist Edmund de Waal was only five when he made his first pot—and found his calling. Today he is recognized as an extraordinary talent in the field of ceramics, combining artistry with intellect. De Waal is also an award-winning writer. His new book, "The White Road: A Journey into Obsession" explores the complicated and, at times, dark history of porcelain. A teacup may never look the same…

    Posted: Sep 22, 2015 4:27 PM ET
    Last Updated: Sep 22, 2015 11:16 AM ET
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  • Liv Ullmann

    Liv Ullmann

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    August 27 - Most people remember Norwegian actress and director Liv Ullmann for her remarkable performances in the films of Ingmar Bergman. But Liv Ullmann has been making her mark all along behind the camera, as well. Her latest project -- as both writer and director -- is a powerful adaptation of August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie. She talks to Eleanor about her fascinating career, through all its phases, and the passion that continues to drive her work.

    Posted: Aug 27, 2015 7:00 AM ET read comments
  • wachtel-i-coixet-feat

    Isabel Coixet

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    August 20, 2015 - Isabel Coixet is one of the most adventurous and imaginative filmmakers at work today. She talks to Eleanor about the ideas, experiences and lifelong passion for film that inspire her work.

    Posted: Aug 20, 2015 7:00 AM ET read comments
  • wachtel-suzy-lake

    Suzy Lake

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    August 13, 2015 - Last November The Art Gallery of Ontario celebrated Suzy Lake's career with an exhibition of her most famous works from the past 40 years. Eleanor Wachtel spoke with Suzy Lake live on-stage at the Art Gallery of Ontario, as the exhibition opened.

    Posted: Aug 13, 2015 7:00 AM ET read comments audio
  • wachtel-fleisher-featured

    Leon Fleisher

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    August 6, 2015 - Leon Fleisher talks to Eleanor about his inspiring personal journey and lifelong passion for music.

    Posted: Aug 06, 2015 12:06 AM ET
    Last Updated: Aug 06, 2015 9:53 AM ET
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  • Sebastiao Salgado

    Sebastião Salgado

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    September 3, 2015 - For Sebastião Salgado, photography is his work, his life, his lens on the world. The celebrated Brazilian photojournalist has spent a lifetime in the field, documenting human experience in troubled places around the globe. His images are striking and unforgettable.

    Posted: Jul 10, 2015 1:09 PM ET
    Last Updated: Sep 04, 2015 3:45 PM ET
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  • wachtel-taymor-featured

    Wachtel On The Arts Julie Taymor

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    July 2, 2015 - Julie Taymor, the first woman to win a Tony Award for Best Musical (with her smash-hit The Lion King) talks to Eleanor about her newest movie, a film version of her stage play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and about her own artistic journey from the avant-garde to the heights of commercial success.

    Posted: Jun 23, 2015 10:40 AM ET
    Last Updated: Jun 23, 2015 1:02 PM ET
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  • wota-koolhaas

    Wachtel on the Arts Rem Koolhaas

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    July 9, 2015 - Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is admired as much for his radical ideas about buildings and cities as for his daring designs. Koolhaas believes in working for the collective good, while participating in the transformation of cities. As director of the 2014 International Architecture Biennale in Venice, he examined architecture's "human element." Koolhaas talks to Eleanor Wachtel about the interests and...

    Posted: Jun 22, 2015 8:46 PM ET
    Last Updated: Jun 23, 2015 12:58 PM ET
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  • Crystal Pite

    Crystal Pite

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    July 16, 2015 - Eleanor Wachtel talks to Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite. She's been called a “dance genius” for her risky, imaginative, and emotionally compelling work. She's among the most in-demand dance creators in the world, and produces work for the most prestigious dance companies.

    Posted: Jun 22, 2015 7:46 PM ET
    Last Updated: Jun 23, 2015 12:55 PM ET
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  • Wachtel On The Arts - Sophie Calle

    Sophie Calle

    by Wachtel on the Arts

    July 23, 2015 - Eleanor Wachtel speaks with French artist Sophie Calle, known for her detective-like explorations of life and love. She secretly followed a stranger to Venice, recording and photographing him. She asked 107 women to analyze a break-up letter she received.

    Posted: Jun 22, 2015 6:46 PM ET
    Last Updated: Jun 23, 2015 12:52 PM ET
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