The new additions are part of an expansion of Film Comment’s online content, which also saw the launch of a spotlight on Black History Month and a new weekly podcast.
Smith Nehme’s biweekly Wednesday column will take in classic movies and beyond. Known to the many fans of her old Hollywood film blog as “Self-Styled Siren,” Nehme is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and author of the novel “Missing Reels.” Barton-Fumo’s column will be featured the first Friday of every month and will focus on music and film, each installment appearing alongside its own custom-made playlist. Meanwhile, the magazine’s Digital Editor Violet Lucca’s weekly column will be characterized by a blend of film criticism and treatment of topical issues — her first installment, for example, considers questions regarding gender and identity with a look at 1965’s “I Knew Her Well” and upcoming release “Marguerite.”
Interim Editor Nicolas Rapold described the new columnists as “truly exceptional critics,” saying that Film Comment felt “privileged to publish their work.” The welcome news comes in the wake of increased popular discussion of the dearth of female critics. As Meryl Streep was only too happy to point out when she slammed Rotten Tomatoes for the “infuriating” gender imbalance of its review aggregation system, film criticism is crying out for more female voices. Column spots like these are just the sort of thing we need to see more of in order to get those voices heard.