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Posts Tagged ‘Justin Chang’

Variety Recommits to Film Criticism

Not too long ago, Hollywood pundits were interpreting the hiring of New York-based Scott Foundas by Variety as a major sleight to the publication’s two other film critics, Justin Chang and Peter Debruge. Time to reverse that punditry.

Variety Studio At Chivas House - Day 1 - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Per an announcement in the trade today, Chang and Debruge have been raised to Foundas’ “chief” tier. Fellow chief film critic Chang will remain based in Los Angeles while chief international film critic Debruge will work from a Paris base:

“We are aggressively stepping up our efforts in film criticism, which has been a hallmark of Variety for many decades,” said Jay Penske, chief executive officer of parent Penske Media Corporation. “We will continue to be the dominant force in this significant arena as we expand our voice in every key territory overseas.”

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THR Snags a Couple of Variety Film Reviewers

No, we’re not talking about Justin Chang and Peter Debruge. That would be huge and… somewhat nonsensical.

Still, for Hollywood trade watchers, the defection from Variety to The Hollywood Reporter of international freelance reviewers Jonathan Holland (based in Madrid) and Boyd van Hoiej (Paris, Luxembourg) would seem to suggest that there’s concern on their part about the future of their beat. A rep for THR tells us that van Hoiej is already at Cannes, and that both will immediately start contributing to the efforts crowned of course by another Variety alum, Todd McCarthy.

Holland, who focuses mainly on Spanish and Latin American films, has also written for The Guardian and Conde Nast’s Traveller. He separately penned the 1994 novel The Escape Artist.

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Scott Foundas Lands at Variety

How’s this for a dotting of the “i” and crossing of the “t” with regards to Variety’s official transition into the PMC era? In between the Sunday preparation for and Tuesday arrival of Daily Variety‘s final print edition, the trade has announced the hiring of a new chief film critic.

The credentials of Scott Foundas, a native of Tampa, FL and graduate of USC, are long, diverse and impressive. As a result, Twitter congratulations are quickly pouring in. From this afternoon’s announcement:

The renowned writer was most recently the chief film critic for the Village Voice, where his reviews, essays and interviews appeared regularly in all 11 Voice Media Group publications. Foundas will remain based in Gotham and work closely with senior film critics Justin Chang and Peter Debruge on reviews and other commentary and reporting for all Variety platforms.

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Variety’s Boffo Internship Program Mints Another Full-Timer

Today is the first day on the TV beat job at Variety for AJ Marechal (pictured). She was an intern last year with the Hollywood trade from March through November.

Marechal’s salaried return continues a rather remarkable string of success for the program instituted in 1995 by current managing editor Kirstin Wilder. “During my college days, I interned at the St. Petersburg Times in South Florida and the News & Observer in Raleigh,” Wilder tells FishbowlLA. “I learned first-hand how important these opportunities can be and was determined when I came to Variety to put an internship program in place.”

From the get-go, Wilder insisted that the trade’s internship program be a paid one. The list of people who’ve jumped from intern to staffer at Variety over the years is long and impressive. Marechal joins a current group of internship-program grads that consists of chief film critic Justin Chang, music editor Andrew Barker, senior writer Marc Graser, graphic designer Dan Doperalski and film reporters Andrew Stewart, Jeff Sneider, Justin Kroll and Rachel Abrams.

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Variety Loses Paywall for Cannes Coverage

The folks at Variety are no dummies. They have decided to park their extensive, short shelf-life coverage of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival beyond the website’s paywall, making it freely available to one and all.

So, much like Owen Wilson‘s 1920s time traveling character in Woody Allen‘s opening night gala Midnight in Paris, it’s December 2009 all over again at Variety.com, the point at which the barrier was erected. The trade’s contingent at the festival includes long-time editor Pat Saperstein, reviewers Justin Chang and Peter Debruge, Variety.com news editor Stuart Oldham, and veteran reporter David McNary.

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In the Trades: CGI, WGA and Xena

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Bridge to Terabithia is well worth seeing, writes Justin Chang. Animation director Gabor Csupo lets the CGI run away with the movie, but the effects are ultimately outshone by stronger performances by AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson. You loved the book, remember?

The Writer’s Guild awarded screenplay honors to Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine in the original category and William Monahan for The Departed in the adapted category. Arndt won for his first produced screenplay, which he wrote over 5 years ago.

The WGA’s Robert Meltzer award for bravery went to the dozen writers at ANTM who lost their jobs last year after striking unsuccessfully for a WGA contract. So, when they do get to join, will they still have to pay the hefty initiation fee?

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Casting notes: Lucy Lawless (yes, Xena!) wiil play a sexy but naive wife on ABC’s Football Wives. Louise Lombard, seen on CSI, is cast as a suburban, single mom who solves crimes in Judy’s Got a Gun. ABC also has an ensemble comedy about a team of paramedics and FOX has a similiar pilot with nurses.

MySpace users might scrub off all the copyrighted video content today, before News Corp. wipes the site clean with a filter that blocks certain uploads.