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The Year in Culture

What’s worth remembering from the past twelve months in the arts.

Pop culture has become a riot of ambition. In 2010, its creators risked more, endured more, and combined more influences than at any time in recent memory: from Marina Abramovic’s 736 hours and 30 minutes without a bathroom break at MoMA to Kanye West’s epic new album (and the accompanying tweet-a-thon) to James Franco’s life as performance art. Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom sprawls like a highbrow nineteenth-century novel—filled with 21st-century intellectual flotsam. Vampire Weekend applies Afrobeat rhythms to ditties about grammar and beverages. read more [+]
Movies
David Edelstein’s Top 10Movies
In a year of foreclosure, massive fraud, manufactured right-wing outrage, and a growing suspicion that how we live now is untenable, these films ameliorated the sense that art is powerless and journalism impotent.
TV
TVEmily Nussbaum’s Top 10
How Community topped Mad Men and 30 Rock.
Pop
PopNitsuh Abebe’s Top 10
Why he couldn’t resist Kanye and loved arguing about Vampire Weekend.
books
BooksSam Anderson’s Top 10
From Freedom to The Anthology of Rap, the most enticing reads of the year.
art
ArtJerry Saltz’s Top 10
Chaos and Classicism made him gasp, while the Whitney rediscovered a master.
Theater
TheaterScott Brown’s Top 10
Why smaller, stranger, angrier little shows had a powerful appeal.
Classical
ClassicalJustin Davidson’s Top 10
Bernstein’s last stage work, Persephassa on the water, and more.


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