October 06, 2006


Village Voice A million different people have sent me links to the following story so here it is. Just when you thought the Village Voice couldn't get any less interesting, they've gone and fired Dennis Lim and Mike Atkinson. Maybe they were let go. Made redundant? Gently ushered in an outwards direction? Whatever it is, they're gone, reducing what I read in the weekly Voice to the sex column in the back pages and maybe a quick skim over the ads for trannie hookers.

What does this mean for foreign movies? Dunno. It's too early to tell since the new hires aren't in place yet (although rumor has it that Nathan Lee - who got me my first reviewing job at the New York Sun - may be stepping in). The Voice's film coverage has been on a steady decline for a long time with space restrictions and style mandates being handed down from up the corporate ladder, which is too bad.

J. Hoberman, Mike Atkinson and Dennis Lim all cared about foreign films and they all championed foreign directors. The Voice always gave extensive coverage to the New York Asian Film Festival which I help run, whether it was the late, lamented Barry Long covering our very first event (a retro of Milkyway Image back in 2000) or Mike Atkinson devoting massive amounts of space to the New York Asian Film Festival year after year.

It was a relief to read their coverage of whatever the hell they wanted to cover, whether it was a Mizoguchi retro or the big new release. One of the first film articles I can remember reading was J. Hoberman's piece about a Wong Kar-wai retro down in Chinatown at the late lamented Rosemary Theater (palace of sex flicks, now a buddhist temple) right after CHUNGKING EXPRESS came out in 1994. The only other high profile magazine that's this eccentric is the New Yorker's film coverage and it would be a shame if that changed.

October 6, 2006 at 10:00 AM in News | Permalink


"meritocracy, what's that?" then again it's the age of the Texan Cowboy, nothing's shocking --

Posted by: ed | Oct 6, 2006 3:47:05 PM

So, does anyone know where Dennis Lim has gone to post-Village Voice?

Posted by: YTSL | Oct 8, 2006 6:37:51 PM

I hadn't realized that Lim was fired, too. That sucks. A lot of their reviewers now are based in other cities(like Ella Taylor, Jim Ridley, etc) so naturally I'm thinking that will effect their coverage of local film events like the NYAFF. I probably never would have started writing/caring about film as much as I do if it hadn't been for the VV back in the day. So it's kind of heartbreaking. That it won't continue to inspire great film writers like me, I guess is what I'm saying.

Posted by: Josh Ralske | Oct 8, 2006 10:34:31 PM

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