After almost exactly three years at the paper, today is film critic Karina Longworth's last day at the LA Weekly. She was hired to replace Scott Foundas, who three years ago left his gig as film editor and critic to join the programming team of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Ironically, last Friday was his first day back with Voice Media Group (the company that owns the LA Weekly, Village Voice, and a bunch of other alternative newspapers) as the chain's new Chief Film Critic. Before you start jumping to any conclusions about Longworth being pushed out to make room for Foundas again, you should read Longworth's blog post about her resignation, which she says was "entirely" her decision:
"It was a long time coming, and the factors that went into it were primarily personal. For some time I’ve been itching to try new things, to write for additional venues and in formats I’m not practiced in. I read many film critics with awe and admiration, but I also idolize great cultural reporters and profile writers — David Carr, Scott Raab, Vanessa Grigoriadis, Mark Harris, Alex Pappademas. To mix baseball metaphors, I was contemplating free agency, while also interested in the idea of becoming less of a specialist, and more of a utility player. Then, a book project came along that I couldn’t turn down, and I decided it was time to make the leap."
Longworth, who was a classmate of mine at New York University, worked her way up to the LA Weekly from the blog world, at the now defunct Spout and Cinematical, where she was a co-founder. She recently published her first book, "Masters of Cinema: George Lucas," and it sounds like she's got another one coming in the near future. Longworth says she's not looking for a new full-time job yet, but she'll be doing some freelancing in the meantime. Criticwire wishes her the best of luck with all her upcoming projects. To provide my own baseball metaphor: she's clearly a five-tool player, and I'm confident she'll be quite successful.
Read more of "Today is My Last Day on Staff at the LA Weekly/Village Voice." Follow Karina Longworth on Twitter.