2018: Year in Review (Entertainment) / by Louis Holstein

2018 was quite the year for the Holsteins. Filled with surprises and blessings, dark nights and bright mornings, this will certainly be a year we won’t quickly forget. At the end of each year, I make it a point to reflect on the things I learned and the things I cherished. Before I get to that post, however, I thought I would focus on the less eternal topics of entertainment and art. 2018 had some treasures and I want to list them here.

Film

Art that makes us feel something is good art. When I embark on a journey with any medium of art, the question at the end of my time with the piece will always be, “Did I feel something?” With good art I rarely have to ask. All of my top four films made me laugh, made me cry, and had me wanting more. (in no particular order)

Won’t You Be My Neighbor was a remarkable look into the amazing life and career of Mr. Rogers. I left the film inspired to be better, love harder, and encourage others to do the same.

I saw A Star is Born on the day it came out and I have yet to stop thinking about how good the acting was. It’s a gritty love story that based on plot alone wouldn’t make it in my list, but I just can’t ignore the absolute revelation Bradley Cooper was- not to mention he directed the whole dang thing! Lady Gaga also gives a sweeping performance and (even better than her acting) some of her best song writing to date.

Eighth Grade (read my review here) took me bad to middle school in a matter of minutes. One of my favorite genres is teen angst, and what Bo Burnham did here has set the standard for the genre. While I don’t know what it is like to be a middle schooler in 2018, I do know what it is like to be a middle schooler, and this film speaks to that. I will be talking about this one for years to come. (You can find it at Redbox)

Lastly, Roma. A foreign art house film with an entirely unknown cast is not exactly my cup of tea, but Roma refused to be ignored. Based on his real life maid, Alfonso Cuaron brings us the story of Celo set in Mexico in the 1970s. If Cuaron doesn’t win all the awards he can for cinematography alone, I don’t know what I’ll do. He left me breathless shot after shot and in an otherwise depressing film plot, left me full of hope. (You can find it on Netflix)

I have not yet seen: If Beale Street Could Talk, Vice, and Von Lux. If any of those break into my list, I’ll be sure to update. As of this writing Eighth Grade is my top film of the year.

Theatre

We were blessed to make our trek to the Great White Way this year. We saw the most original staging of a musical I have ever seen, and my first experience with a Rodgers and Hammerstein Golden-Age musical on Broadway. The Band’s Visit would go on to win 10 of the 11 Tony’s it was nominated for and Carousel was ROBBED of Best Actor, and Revival. It did, however walk away with the Tony’s for Best Featured Actress and Choreography- which it well deserved. I talk about both more here.

I don’t make it to NYC every year, so one of my 2019 goals it to see more regional and local theatre.

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Television

I wouldn’t consider myself a big TV guy, but every now and again I find a TV show I fall in love with. This year that show was The Marvelous Mrs. Masiel. From the start of Season 1 (last 2017) the ending of Season 2 (late 2018) this how has not disappointed. In a day were bad news reigns, it has been nice to escape to the ridiculousness of 1950s New York City and laugh the night away. I was proud of their Emmy’s sweep back in September and felt Season 2 to be even stronger than Season 1 (a good sign). The fast talking characters are an Amy Sherman-Palladino staple and something that makes it all the more funny. The only downside to this perfect comedy is the obsessive use of the f-word. I have the f-word. At any rate you can find it streaming on Amazon Prime.

Fine Art

We made our way to several different art Museums and art experiences this year. Instead of merely listing them, I felt it appropriate to include an image from each one. Here we go:

My top spots for art in 2018 (in no particular order):

  1. Wynwood Walls

  2. Institute of Contemporary Art (Miami)

  3. Museum of Modern Art (New York City)

It was an absolute wonderful year of art viewing and learning. However, I can’t think about art exhibits in 2018, without thinking of my lovely, Ashley’s debut exhibition at the Mulberry Cultural Center. She headlined her first show: Communitas.

This show has a special place in my heart as it was not only her first show, but my first experience in curating an art exhibit. I learned so much about myself and curating that I know it will not be the last time I do it! You can read all about the show here.

If you want to view pieces from the show, you can do so here.

Lastly if you want to get in front of my wife’s lens you do so here.

2018: The Year of Rebirth

It really started in 2017 (with the launch of this website) that I began to undergo a transformation of sorts. I like the term Rebirth, or Renaissance even better. In 2018 I painted more than I had in my entire my life, I dabbled with film and started writing a musical. I saw more art than my heart could handle, fell in love with the title musical that could, and cherished a film about adolescence. This was a wonderful year of art and entertainment and I can’t wait for 2019. In 2019 I want to paint more, write more, film more, see more, and CREATE more (so hold me accountable). Here’s to 2019!

-Louis