Well, we're not big on hypes and traditions here, but still. The dark days around Christmas are very dark this year, so why not something with lists. This year, no editor's list of toppers, but random entries from random readers, in random, if slightly alphabetical order.
Motto of the reader question was: which things of 2017 should we definitely not forget? What came in was sometimes surprising, and sometimes indeed: "yes!". We leave the submitters anonymous. We do link the not-to-be-forgotten things to websites and authors who - within Google's first search results - told something interesting about them. Because by telling about it, they ensure that it is not forgotten, and by linking to that story, we ensure that traffic continues to come to it.
Below is the readers' list (the numbers mean nothing. Some items received more votes, some are unique, that doesn't make them any less memorable).
NRC: 'The exhibition as a whole may slump a little at times (seventy works is just too many to maintain the highest level), but at the moment the Gemeentemuseum has on display some of the rawest and most poignant portraits created in the twentieth century. Neel has her honours in - and she has earned them.'
Mirjam Koen interviewed by Culture Press: ''The crazy thing is, Theodor Adorno has been getting more and more attention lately. Especially with the rise of populism and, of course, Donald Trump. There was also a new biography of Adorno published recently, and the questions he asked are certainly topical again now: how much influence does capitalism have on us? Adorno has written a lot about that.'
Tirade: 'Visitors to the City Theatre yesterday experienced what a lifetime of storytelling, films and theatre-making can do to a person. I heard six of the most beautiful answers I have ever heard given in succession.'
Tjalling: 'Anne van As is inspired by Scandinavian countries, the mountains and wildlife from cold and temperate regions. But her paintings and drawings are not just a record of visible reality. In a clear, figurative style, she presents accessible subjects such as a bear, a rabbit or even an abstract mountain. These are all subjects that evoke a certain endearment or recognition. However, a sense of disorientation creeps up on you from time to time. (Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator)
Volkskrant: ''Bill Frisell is perhaps the most esteemed jazz guitarist of recent decades, thanks to the ever-present smile in his wistful music. Frisell is not much for endless solo jazz, but focuses on intense ensemble playing around beautiful themes'
NRC Handelsblad *****
The group plays mostly new material. Spencer expresses his love in a fantastic mating dance to the song 'I Idolise You'. He gets down on his knees to his wife. Martinez doesn't seem to really appreciate this act of love. She walks off stage before the end of the song. Perhaps the diva is having trouble with the only half-full hall.
Cultureel Persbureau: 'How do those Belgians manage time and again to do what Dutch theatre makers rarely, or rather never, manage to do? Just under a decade ago, they got us sobbing with the café-chant performance The broken circle breakdown, which later won an Oscar nomination as a film. I think even now filmmakers are clamouring for the film rights to Chasse Patate.'
New York Times: 'Peter Brook's productions of Shakespeare in the 1950s and 1960s are legendary. His later work - "Marat/Sade" and "The Mahabharata" in particular - occupies a central place in the history of modern theatre and represents a permanent challenge to the psychological realism and social didacticism that have dominated the art form in Britain and America. His interest has always been in the ritual roots and mythical resonances of theatre, and the idea of acting he articulates in "The Tightrope" has an ancient, even mystical tenor. He speaks of accessing a collective brain, of understanding the essence of time and of the ways in which theatre can offer a heightened experience of life.' Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
Wijbrand Schaap: 'the poets were really the stars this time. Not to mention our perennial just-not-noble winner Cees Nooteboom. Indeed, his lacklustre performance made it particularly noticeable how readable his poems were. On a stage, they kind of fall by the wayside. How different it was with the work of Astrid Lampe. This Utrecht-based poet has been writing totally incomprehensible and abstract work for years, which invariably does great on stage. She is trained as an actress, which will help. At least at her performance, the audience loosened up, people laughed and applauded in between.
The discovery (thanks to Job Gosschalk's crooked skate) that Kemna Casting has an undesirable monopoly position
Volkskrant: 'There are some competitors, but they are not nearly as big. Jeannette Snik ran a casting agency for years but found it increasingly difficult to compete with Kemna. 'They were always very good at pulling everything towards themselves: the soaps, voice casting, later also producing and directing. That's a vicious circle, because the more you pull towards you the more people do have to pull towards you.' An example of this, according to Snik, is the separate company Kemna Training. 'They have cleverly done that. Actors feel obliged to attend those workshops, thinking: then I might be chosen by them next time.'
Cultural Press Agency: 'It is Romana Peace who leads the way for the rest of this hyperactual adventure. She intrigues, fascinates and seduces you every episode. So: should you miss the first episodes now, that need not be a reason not to watch the rest in October. By then, the ensemble will be led by an actress who will inevitably have been awarded by then. She deserves the highest award the Dutch theatre has for its actresses: the Theo d'Or. She was nominated thanks to her role in Race. That performance is finished. Now go and see how you play such an award. You won't be disappointed.'
Cultural Press Agency: 'She went on to say that, in her view, the theatre world had crept further and further into its shell in recent years. Not only that: it had also become self-absorbed, concerned only with survival, with justifying why there should be theatre, with defending its existence and whining for money.'
The rather unique erasure (and reprised by Christopher Plummer) of Kevin Spacey's role from All the Money in the World
NRC: After Spacey's fall, the film seemed doomed. Take a scene where, as Jean Paul Getty, he walks hand-in-hand with his 10-year-old grandson through the ruins of Emperor Hadrian's villa: Getty says there that he is the reincarnation of this gay emperor and patron. Something like that now took on a rather murky connotation.
ED: 'In 2016, the presentation Manifestations was voted the best of that year. Rightly so. This edition too - on no less than two floors of Het Veem at Strijp S - looks promising. The exhibition on 4,500 square metres gives a nice insight into how designers and artists see our future. On everything from dating by smell to an electronic home doctor. Or (pictured) a robot that eats oak processionary caterpillars and converts that material via biocells into a substance to feed itself. A product by Jip van Leeuwenstein. Also nice: several installations are interactive'
NRC: 'The Fiber Festival is part of a growing niche: avant garde music and art connected with technology and science. You learn something there. But not all experiments are convincing.'
Jaap Mees: 'Jim Jarmusch, the cult director of such delightful films as Stranger than Paradise, Down by Law and Night on Earth, is on top form with Paterson. With his typical humane touch, subtle observations, quirky humour, he tells the story of a friendly phlegmatic bus driver, excellently played by Adam Driver. An apt name. He lives a settled life with his super-cute Iranian girlfriend Laura (Golshifteh Farahani).'
Het Huis Utrecht: 'Anne aspired to a career as a business leader in the art world. At Het Huis Utrecht, she took steps in this direction, providing business support to young theatre-makers alongside her work as office manager. Everything pointed to her developing further in this field.'
Requiem for 'De Warme Winkel plays De Warme Winkel' is a festive/voice farewell to De Warme Winkel plays De Warme Winkel, which can no longer be rerun for copyright reasons. Especially for the Dutch Theatre Festival, De Warme Winkel is creating a unique and definitive farewell programme to its magnum opus, which can only be seen at Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam on Thursday 7 September.
Fransien van der Putt: 'Setan Jawa is a surrealist film about social injustice and desire. Nugroho uses the parallelism of social reality and magical and mystical relationships, as is common in Javanese culture, to make intriguing connections and indirect social criticism. Incidentally, much of this eluded me during the screening. It was only when I was caught up by better-informed colleagues I) afterwards that things began to fall into place.'
Jaïr Tchong: 'The underlying criticism that made Harris' story a downright thrilling experience - Tuschinski was hanging on his every word - is in line with the increasingly vocal criticism of companies like Google and Facebook. With an illuminating analogy ('attention is a natural resource, and finite'), Harris signals a major threat. If we do not regulate the omnipotence of 'the big five' (Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft), humanity is doomed. With a dataset and an algorithm, you can overthrow any sharing economy. Call it 'disruption' and some economists will applaud you for it.'
Sven Schlijper Karssenberg: 'LGW is a festival that creates an us-feeling. That cuts across nationalities. Or gender and age. And also: without walls between artist and audience. The celebration of tarab, discovery and adventure are central. Bomb- or overcrowded is therefore not an issue to moan about at LGW. If no one can fit more in a room, there is more than enough to experience in the rich programme. The festival deliberately enforces that too; just go on a journey through the world of LGW and step outside your planned paths. There is always an inn with a warm welcome.'
Max, Misha and the Tet offensive by John Harstadt Discovered during The Literature House's ILFU.
VPRO Guide: 'Dosing does not seem Harstad's strong suit, given the monstrous size of his new book. Some sentences last a page and a half and he grosses in digressions that are sometimes nothing more than an endless enumeration of album titles. But just when you think: hurry up Johan, something unparalleled wonderful follows. Take the scene where Max's father suggests that he and his friend Mordecai go out for a day. 'Bringing swimming gear and the badminton rackets, coming home at dusk, tired and full of impressions.' Max and Mordecai have very different plans (something to do with booze and girls) and politely decline the offer. 'I felt a bit sorry for him at the time, he had already pulled out a racket and shuttle and when we swept his proposal off the table, he half hid it behind his back, as if he was just clearing out some old stuff.'
Leo Bankersen: Maybe after Moonlight, there will be more people in the US film industry who think, 'Hey, it doesn't always have to follow pre-baked formulas.' Let's dream of new opportunities for American filmmakers with their own voice.'
Leo Bankersen: 'The dryly and precisely portrayed but also enchanting On Body and Soul is my favourite competition film so far because of its deer dreams. In this striking directorial debut, Hungarian Ildikó Enyedi tells the story of a young autistic woman employed as a quality controller in a slaughterhouse. When she discovers she shares her dreams with an equally socially awkward colleague, it is the beginning of a tentative rapprochement. By showing them in their dream scenes in animal guise, Enyedi manages to put you in touch with their emotional inner world in a very unexpected way.'
TPO: 'Boring? Well, in A Pen Of All Work as the exhibition is called, the invigoration of the politically and culturally incorrect reigns supreme. Where else do you come across that in a museum? Despite the quantity, Pettibon's works are also held together by a pleasant kind of satire, sarcasm and black humour. A little artist naturally refers to current affairs. You bet there are a number of cartoons hanging about Donald Trump.'
OOR: 'With the new The Castle, The Flaming Lips show that it still knows how to make the combination of psychedelic rock and that typical eighties sound into a catchy whole. The frontman - who walks across the stage dancing and singing - has finally managed to loosen up the venue properly. Compared to Wayne Coyne, the rest of the band stands quietly and is mostly focused on the instruments. Not a bad thing at all, as this makes it possible to enjoy not only visually, but also musically.'
Sandra van BIjsterveld: 'The portrayal of the gentle Olli and his infatuation in the tough boxing world provides comical situations, which ensures that this film did not become heavy-handed. At the same time, there is a serious question in the film that we all face from time to time: what is more important, (outward) success and meeting expectations, or staying yourself and following your heart?'
Theatre newspaper: 'Vogel practices a way of storytelling with integrity and fascination: she takes the audience through all the doubts she has when it comes to the need for refugee work. She candidly reveals that she hardly knows anything about the Syrian refugee issue, about a dictator like Assad, about the Middle East. 'Yes, it must be something about 'sand and camels'.'