Critics Wrap 2008

Last night’s fourth annual Critics Wrap at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle was, as expected, a much-needed chance to talk in depth about the movies in 2008 that mattered. We didn’t get to all the films we could’ve talked about, but that’s the nature of the beast. Kathleen Murphy navigated the unpredictable rhythms of A Christmas Tale, Jim Emerson went to the wall for Pineapple Express (after making sure that some of the audience had, at one time, watched a movie in an altered state), and Andy Wright emerged unbowed after making his case for The Dark Knight, a choice that triggered an old-school Siskbert battle on the subject. Consensus approval for Let the Right One In, Wendy and Lucy, and In Bruges followed.

As for me, after notably beginning the discussion by forgetting to introduce the panelists until five minutes into it (there’s such a thing as being too comfortable during these things), I attempted to describe the criss-crossings of The Edge of Heaven by repeatedly interlacing my fingers. Whatever. At least the evening gave me an excuse to wear the green velvet jacket I bought at a thrift store a couple of weeks ago.

So thanks to the panelists, to Mary Jane Knecht and TJ Johnson and the folks at the Frye, to the Seattle Channel, and to the audience. The event will be televised, on the Seattle Channel (that’s channel 21 on most Seattle cable), on Dec. 25 at 11 p.m. (just right for a little Christmas wind-down), and then repeat on Dec. 26 at 10 p.m.; Dec. 27 at 9 p.m.; Jan. 1 at 11 p.m.; and thereafter. After the first telecast it will also be watchable from the Seattle Channel’s website:

To check the individual ten-best lists, click the Frye page of past Magic Lantern topics: here.

Update: The link to an edited one-hour version of the evening: here.