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ANTHONY AUGUSTINE / WEB

Psy -- Gangnam Style

With over one billion views on YouTube of his pop culture-influencing video Gangnam Style, South Korean superstar Psy is the biggest viral sensation of the year. Dominating the web, influencing a host of spinoff memes and parody videos and blasted on dance floors and radios worldwide, there was no bigger artist or pop-culture phenomenon in 2012 then Psy.

RANDALL KING Ñ MOVIES

The Exploitation Generation

The best Winnipeg filmmakers have been drawn to pastiche. Young John Paizs flirted with '50s industrial film style. Guy Maddin emulated old German silents. This year, the five knuckleheads of Astron-6 -- Matthew Kennedy, Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney, Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski (right) -- carried on the tradition, releasing two features in the style of tawdry '80s VHS exploitation cinema: Father's Day (banned in Australia!) and Manborg, movies as sleazy and shocking as they are funny. We salute you... and keep our distance.

BRAD OSWALD Ñ TV

Blackout puts Winnipegger in spotlight

Simply put, Tracy Spiridakos (right) had a very good year. She was cast in a leading role in a major U.S.-network drama series, Revolution. That show (which also airs on Citytv) went on to become the highest-rated new offering among the coveted 18-49 demographic, and quickly received a full-season pickup from NBC. In very short order, Spiridakos became a big TV star. Oh, and she got engaged. And got a dog. Yep, a pretty good year.

MORLEY WALKER/ BOOKS

The title has a certain je ne sais quoi, too

Richard Ford's novel Canada, released last spring, is planned and executed with the skill of a veteran who knows his craft. And it has an ending that justifies the stately and deliberate pace that leads to it.

KEVIN PROKOSH / THEATRE

Come for the food, stay for the carnage

The cast of August: Osage County, led by the ageless Martha Henry (right), put the fun in dysfunctional family drama at the RMTC Warehouse last March. They all got to curse, scream and behave badly, no more so than during the riveting climactic family dinner scene in which Violet (Henry) yelled, "I'll eat you alive, girl," at her oldest daughter Barb (Sharon Bajer), triggering a battle royal. You think your family dinners are rough?

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 27, 2012 C2

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