Former Chicago Tribune film & TV critic Allison Benedikt has been hired as the new Village Voice film editor after serving as the paper's interim film editor for the last few weeks. The hire brings some stability back to the Voice's film department, which has undergone a rocky transition for the past few months with the dismissal of writers Michael Atkinson and Dennis Lim as well as complaints from old-school Voicers about the syndication of film reviews across the New Times chain. Benedikt with work with veteran film writer Jim Hoberman and recent hire Nathan Lee, formerly of the NYT and the NY Sun, and tells The Reeler that she and her crew all "care deeply about making the Voice's film section as smart as it ever was, while also putting our own stamp on the coverage" (then, to show that she has a sense of humor about it all, she adds: "First order of business: All celebrity interviews all the time").
NB: Those who wonder if recent Chicago-transplant Benedikt has the requisite New York cred for the Voice needn't fear; the Brill's Content vet knew enough to open her Tribune article on a New York gathering for bygone magazines with the words "With arms outstretched, Jesse Oxfeld broke out in song." Bendikt moved here this summer with her husband, Radar senior writer John Cook. For those who may wonder, Benedikt is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Requisite disclaimer: I wrote this month's Voice cover story on Saturday Night Live; Voice editor-in-chief David Blum is a HuffPo contributor, as is Reeler founder Stu VanAirsdale; I have a jolly email relationship with Cook and have warmly corresponded with Benedikt. But, I hate movies.