J. Hoberman fired from Village Voice

Reza
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Re: J. Hoberman fired from Village Voice

Postby Reza » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:47 am

1/6/2012

Fired Village Voice movie critic writes farewell note

by Lucas Shaw | Reuters 14 hrs ago


LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - J. Hoberman's
departure from the Village Voice Wednesday
shocked many in the film community. But don't get
expect Hoberman to strike back at his former publication.

While laid-off journalists have often used the
opportunity to spurn their former paper, Hoberman
opted for class and gratitude upon finding out
his long-time employer was letting him go.

He sent a note to his colleagues -- as well as
posting on his own website -- reflecting on how
his time at the publication impacted his life.

"I've had a pretty good run in what, for me, was
the greatest job imaginable," Hoberman wrote. "I
learned nearly everything I know about writing
and a good chunk of what I know about life at the
Voice; the paper gave me space to invent myself
(that is, develop my own particular interests and
means of expression), as well as the opportunity
to work with some of the smartest, most
interesting and most creative people I've been
fortunate to meet -- and I'm not talking about on-screen or in interviews."

The Voice has laid off a series of prominent
writers and editors over the past few years as
cost-cutting measures -- from Dennis Lim to
Michael Atkinson to Nathan Lee. Hoberman now tops that list.

As for any sour grapes? No thank you.

"I have no regrets and whatever sadness I feel is
outweighed by a sense of gratitude. Thirty-three
years is a long time to be able to do something
that you love to do, to champion things you want
to champion, and to even get paid for it. I feel
lucky that my last piece praised two movies that
I greatly admire (at Film Forum and Anthology no
less) and allowed me go out with a plug for Occupy Wall Street!"

Hoberman rose to prominence for his reviews of
international and avant garde cinema, often bringing in a bit of politics.

He started at the Voice in the 1970s, becoming a
regular reviewer in 1978 and a full-time staffer
in 1983. His first review was of David Lynch's "Eraserhead."

He wrote several books, including "The Red
Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of
Communism" and "On Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures
(and other Secret-Flix of Cinemaroc."

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Re: J. Hoberman fired from Village Voice

Postby Sonic Youth » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:47 pm

New blog, or at least new to me:

http://j-hoberman.com/


It’s Here… DAS BLOG OF SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION!!!

This is the text of a group e-mail sent Thursday morning to my co-workers at the Village Voice.


Dear colleagues,

Yesterday afternoon I learned that my position at the Village Voice had been eliminated. I’ve been a staff writer at the Voice since 1983, a regular film reviewer since 1978, and sold my first free-lance piece (an article on Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures) as a virtual toddler back in 1972. In fact, I grew up reading the Voice–in addition to spending most of my working life in its employ. But, nothing lasts forever, and I’ve had a pretty good run in what, for me, was the greatest job imaginable. I learned nearly everything I know about writing and a good chunk of what I know about life at the Voice; the paper gave me space to invent myself (that is, develop my own particular interests and means of expression), as well as the opportunity to work with some of the smartest, most interesting and most creative people I’ve been fortunate to meet—and I’m not talking about on-screen or in interviews. It’s safe to say that I’ll never love an institution as much as I first loved the Voice because there is unlikely to ever be an institution like that Voice again—unfortunately. I have no regrets and whatever sadness I feel is outweighed by a sense of gratitude. Thirty-three years is a long time to be able to do something that you love to do, to champion things you want to champion, and to even get paid for it. I feel lucky that my last piece praised two movies that I greatly admire (at Film Forum and Anthology no less) and allowed me go out with a plug for Occupy Wall Street! I feel honored too that I had the opportunity this past summer to represent many of you in our union negotiations.

Be well, stay strong, and good luck, Jim
"What the hell?"
Win Butler

mayukh
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Re: J. Hoberman fired from Village Voice

Postby mayukh » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:17 pm

...And this leaves us with, of all people, Karina Longworth.

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Damien
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Re: J. Hoberman fired from Village Voice

Postby Damien » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:02 am

The sad thing is that it's not unbelievable.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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J. Hoberman fired from Village Voice

Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:37 pm

Unbelievable.

Film critic J. Hoberman is out at Village Voice
By Joe Pompeo
5:37 pm Jan. 4, 2012
CapitalNewYork.com


J. Hoberman, longtime film critic for The Village Voice, has been let go from the paper, where he's been a staff writer since 1983.

The news leaked out in a tweet from the music writer Mike Rubin early this evening: "A CINEMATIC SIN: Further diluting what's left of their 'brand,' Village Voice laid off J. Hoberman today, senior film critic since 1988."

Capital has confirmed Hoberman's exit with a source. Hoberman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment but we'll update here if we hear back from him.

UPDATE: Daily Intel has also confirmed the news, with a comment from Hoberman: "I've seen a lot of people lose their jobs there in the last five years. I would be disingenuous to say I hadn't considered the possibility that this would happen to me eventually. I was shocked, but not surprised."

Tony Ortega, editor of the paper, said he couldn't comment on personnel matters, but, he wrote in an email: "The Voice is committed to providing comprehensive film coverage, and will continue to publish our many fine film writers, both in print and online."

Hoberman is the latest in a string of old-time Voice veterans who have parted ways with the paper in recent years including Tom Robbins, Wayne Barrett, Nat Hentoff (though he's come back as a freelancer), and Ward Harkavy.

----------------------------------------------------

J. Hoberman Fired From the Voice
Indiewire.com


The Village Voice has laid off its senior film critic, J. Hoberman, a staple of the American film criticism and a contributor to the publication since 1977. Hoberman served as a staff writer for the publication since 1983 and was appointed its chief film critic in 1988.

New York magazine's Daily Intel blog reported that the critic was let go earlier today. In a brief statement, Hoberman sounded unsurprised. "I've seen a lot of people lose their jobs there over the years," he told reporter Joe Coscarelli, a former Voice employee. "It would be disingenuous to say I hadn't considered the possibility that this would happen eventually." Anne Thompson also posted about Hoberman's departure.

The news brings a shocking climax to a series of layoffs and changes that have plagued the Voice over the last several years, beginning with the 2005 merging of Village Voice Media and the New Times syndicate. From the film section alone, layoffs have included editor Dennis Lim and critics Michael Atkinson and Nathan Lee.

But the departure of Hoberman, whose distinctly intellectual and politically tinged writings on international and experimental cinema became a must-read for cinephiles around the world, signals the end of an era. In 2006, S.T. VanAirsdale reported in The Reeler on the layoffs at the Voice with a reassuring lead: "For everyone fretting about the changes sweeping the vaunted film section of the Village Voice, you can relax: Jim Hoberman is staying," he wrote. "There is that."

No longer. In that piece, VanAirsdale quoted independent film distributors and advertisers who imply they would pull advertisements from the paper if Hoberman were ever let go. It's easy to see why: An endorsement from Hoberman, particularly in the New York area, can speak to a wide variety of dedicated filmgoers who have learned to trust his opinion over a long period of time--in some cases, decades.

Hoberman began writing for former Voice editor Jonas Mekas in the '70s under the pseudonym Clinton Delancey, named after the Lower East Side location of his apartment at that time. His first published review was an essay on Jack Smith's "Flaming Creatures," later the subject of a book Hoberman authored in 2001.

In 1977, Hoberman began writing for the paper on a regular basis, beginning with a review of David Lynch's "Eraserhead," which he found superior to a much bigger movie released around the same time. "'Eraserhead' is not a movie I'd drop acid for," he wrote, "although I would consider it a revolutionary act if someone dropped a reel of it into the middle of 'Star Wars.'"

In 2007, the Brooklyn Academy of Music celebrated Hoberman's 30th anniversary as a Voice staffer with a retrospective of films curated by the critic. Over the course of those three decades, Hoberman also published numerous books, including the indispensable "Midnight Movies" with Jonathan Rosenbaum and the acclaimed "The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties." He recently followed up that volume with the Cold War study "An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War," which Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker recently listed as one of the best movie events of last year.

Indiewire has reached out to Hoberman for comment, but it's clear that he won't be going away. Following the publication of his last book, Hoberman has begun working on another historical tome about American movies, this one focused on the Reagan presidency. He is also planning a collection of previously published work.

Hoberman participated in a recent conversation with Indiewire about "Melancholia" and freelances for numerous publications. Additionally, he frequently teaches film history and criticism at NYU (where I worked for him as a research assistant) and Cooper Union.

In short, the Voice may have lost Hoberman, but the movies haven't lost Hoberman's voice.

.
"What the hell?"

Win Butler


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