It was a quite a year for arts and entertainment and pop culture. While you can make a case that every year is remarkable for what entertains, inspires, angers and makes us think, this particular past 365 days was a biggie.
For me, and others in the community who work in the arts, the highlights were a combination of local and beyond:
Katie Chicklinski-Cahill, Herald Arts & Entertainment editor
Saying Goodbye: This year, we lost some big names in the world of arts and entertainment. Locally, Mischa Semanitzky died Dec. 3 at the age of 89. Founder of Durango’s annual Music in the Mountains classical music festival, Semanitzky helped elevate the event from a small performance featuring 11 musicians to a world-class destination now in its third decade.
The Big Screen: Local and beyond: 2017 was full of surprises at the movies. Locally, we saw the birth of a new film festival, Something Wild Film Festival, which kicked off its inaugural weekend in November. This month, we saw the big-screen directorial debut of 12-year-old Aiden Hurley. As far as large distribution, the film “Get Out” was hands-down my favorite movie of the year. A little “The Stepford Wives” and a whole lot of satire, “Get Out” was classified as a horror film, which is what lured me in, but it turned out to be so much more.The Small Screen: “Stranger Things: Season 2”: I got sucked in to the Netflix original series “Stranger Things” at season one. A child of the 1980s, “Stranger Things” had me at the costumes, soundtrack and references to the era’s movies, books and pop culture. There was a lot of anxiety ahead of Season 2 – and, man, it did not disappoint. Here’s looking to season three.
The Weinstein Effect: A story that transcends arts and entertainment, the allegations of sexual abuse, assault and harassment against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates for women and men in the movie and television industry (and elsewhere) to feel safe enough to step forward and share their stories. As a result, many of Hollywood’s elite actors, directors, etc., were revealed to have used their status and power to take advantage of others without said status and power. And some lost their positions because of it.
Concerts: Admittedly, I did not get to a lot of shows in 2017, but the ones I did go to were awesome, and, in fact, two happened within days of each other. The first was Dweezil Zappa’s “50 Years of Frank” show at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College in August. Dweezil playing his dad’s music? It doesn’t get much better. The second, Alice Cooper opening for Deep Purple at Isleta Amphitheater in Albuquerque shows that even in a fast-moving, auto-tuned, digital-music world, the classics still kick the buttocks. And so do the artists.Dr. Michele Malach, chair and associate professor of English, Fort Lewis College“The Landing:” The best movie you haven’t heard of. Do you remember Apollo 18? Here’s what really happened.
“The Shape of Water”: The movie we’ve waited 11 years for. Guillermo del Toro. The Cold War. A creature. An egg timer. What more do you want?My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Emil Ferris): This graphic novel is further proof that literature is evolving and so are we.#metoo: Social media trend of the year. The discussion is here; let’s get past the hashtags and talk, shall we?
Long-form serial narrative: We used to call it television. We’re in a golden age of small-screen stories from a multiplicity of voices, times and places. The medium is exploding!Patty Templeton, DGO staff writerPodcast: “Ear Hustle.” Two inmates currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams work with Bay Area artist Nigel Poor to bring forward an insider’s view of the American prison industrial complex. Album: “The Suffering Stage,” by Joseph Huber. Huber heads a three-piece roots outfit and writes lyrics that dismantle a day into the beauty and brutality of getting by.
Movie: “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene.” Director Alexandre O. Philippe thinks the shower scene in “Psycho” is the single greatest three minutes in American cinema. This ain’t just a documentary for movie nerds or horror freaks, but you better have seen “Psycho” cause it does have beautiful spoilers. Song: “After You’ve Gone,” The Legendary Shack Shakers. It’s the little things that’ll get you after a break-up, like seeing the coffee ring left by your lover on the kitchen table. Lead singer J.D. Wilkes puts an aching heart on display in this jaunty, yet decimating, tune. Book: The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine, by Lindsey Fritzharris. Fitzharris recounts how Joseph Lister, a young Quaker surgeon, convinced the world of the impact of germs during an era of operating theaters and ghastly medicinal practices. Judith Reynolds, arts journalist, member of the American Theater Critics Association
Music in the Mountains: Violist Jiah Kyun won the Conservatory Music in the Mountains top award and performed Bartok’s Viola Concerto with the Festival Orchestra.
Opera: “The (R) evolution of Steve Jobs,” made its world premiere at the Santa Fe Opera, unspooling a compelling story about a modern genius.Art: “Shroud, A River Reckoning,” an exhibition of works by Peter Hay at the Durango Arts Center extended our definition of landscape art.Music: “Requiem for Eagles,” by Dalen Stevens and the late David Lingle, performed by San Juan Symphony and combined Durango and Telluride choirs in both cities. Farewell: A fond farewell show-and-party for outgoing Durango Arts Center Theatre Director Theresa Carson, with songs and scenes from her shows over the last five years. firstname.lastname@example.org