J. Hoberman, the veteran film critic let go from his position as chief film critic of the Village Voice last month, has landed a new gig: He has been named chief film critic of Blouin ARTINFO, the online art and culture publication run by Louis Blouin Media. The news of Hoberman’s appointment first appeared in Variety over the weekend.
In an email to Indiewire, Hoberman explained that he will continue to freelance for various other publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Film Comment and Tablet, while contributing regular criticism and features throughout the week for ARTINFO.
The publication “made me an attractive and generous offer,” Hoberman said. “Basically an opportunity to publish an ongoing movie journal, something I did for myself in my early 20s, and actually get paid for it.”
Hoberman accepted the opportunity after considering numerous options in the wake of his departure from the Voice.
“I began getting offers to review movies in print, online, and over the radio, less than 24 hours after I was laid off,” he said. “It was very much appreciated, although—no surprise, given the state of film journalism — none were comparable to my previous situation. I expected that—I had the kind of job barely exists now. It was amazing that it lasted as long as it did.”
However, he found a kind of upside to the situation. “To be honest, I’m not at all sorry, after 30 years, to break out of weekly film reviewing,” he said. “In some ways it’s energizing. Less money, more freedom. I’m a grizzled vet (I figure I published 2 million words in the Voice—-too bad I don’t have 50 cents or even a quarter for each one) and so at this point mainly interested in writing about stuff that interests me in a way that I find interesting. When I have something to say, I’ll figure out a way to say it.”
While he won’t make his usual pilgrimage to Cannes this year, Hoberman doesn’t plan to leave the festival scene, and noted that this year he will attend the SXSW Film Festival. ARTINFO won’t consume all of his time. “It isn’t a full-time gig in the sense that the Voice was,” he said. “That’s over (although if David Remnick calls I won’t hang up). My full-time job will be aggregating whatever of my writing that I can on my Blog of Shameless Self Promotion. In that sense, I guess I have migrated to the post-print world.”