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Jan. 2, 2017: Favorite Movies and Exhibitions of 2016

I like to make lists, and while I keep up with new music much more fastidiously than I do with movies or art exhibitions due to the modes of engagement as well as my general interest, I wanted to list 20 amazing things I saw this past year as well: 10 movies and 10 exhibitions. Check it out.

Top 10 Movies

Building off what I said above: I was a bad movie-goer this year, which is to say I barely went to the movies (and when I did, many times it was to see movies not released in 2016, making the below list even harder to assemble). This is unfortunate, as I really love going to the movies and keeping up with new releases, whether the latest stupid, yet enjoyable blockbuster or the latest notable experimental film. All in all, I only ended up seeing around a dozen good new movies in total over the course of the last 12 months—so... the Top 10 pretty much listed itself. If there's an essential one that I'm missing, you can bet I just didn't see it (Certain Women is a prominent example). Finally, I chose to rank them because my #1 is pretty firm, and, to me, there's a noteworthy qualitative difference between the #s 2 through 5, and #s 6 through 10.

1. Elle
2. Toni Erdmann
3. The Illinois Parables
4. Everybody Wants Some!!
5. Knight of Cups
6. Moonlight
7. Wiener-Dog
8. Silence
9. Manchester by the Sea
10. Hail, Caesar!

Top 10 Exhibitions

This list is skewed toward exhibitions from the last few months, mainly because I don't keep track of the shows I see at all—so, the ones I remember are the ones I've seen most recently. As with movies, I missed a lot of great shows this year, so if it seems like I'm forgetting something (e.g., Kerry James Marshall), it's safe to assume that I didn't see it (or, in the case of my parenthetical example, haven't seen it yet). Nevertheless, each of the ten exhibitions listed below featured a great installation of visionary artwork that—in one way or another—shaped my thinking on art, aesthetics, politics, et al. in 2016. Picking a #1 is tougher here, but I may go with Cameron Rowland.

Beverly Buchanan – Ruins and Rituals at the Brooklyn Museum
Bruce Conner – It's All True at MoMA
Calvin Marcus – Were Good Men at CLEARING
Cameron Rowland – 91020000 at Artists Space
Cecil Taylor – Open Plan at the Whitney Museum
Josh Kline – Unemployment at 47 Canal
László Moholy-Nagy – Future Present at The Art Institute of Chicago
Lillian Schwartz – Pioneer of Computer Art at Magenta Plains
Philip Guston – Laughter in the Dark, Drawings from 1971 and 1975 at Hauser & Wirth
Sondra Perry – Resident Evil at The Kitchen

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