Phoenix Bites Dust

The Boston Phoenix, the alternative weekly that began publishing in 1965 and which helped launch the careers of several top-notch film critics including Owen Glieberman, David Denby, David Edelstein, Paul Attanasio, Janet Maslin, David Chute and Stephen Schiff, has been shut down for good. Phoenix publisher Stephen M. Mindich cited (what else?) ad revenue decline.

Joan Micklin Silver‘s Between The Lines (’77) was set in Boston and about a Phoenix-like staff (played by John Heard, Lindsay Crouse, Jeff Goldblum, Bruno Kirby, Michael J. Pollard, Gwen Welles, Jill Eikenberry, Marilu Henner) dealing with a big-business takeover. The script was mostly penned by Fred Barron, who had written for The Phoenix and The Real Paper. Silver reportedly once worked for The Village Voice. There was also a short-lived TV sitcom, also titled Between the Lines.

  • merton82

    It’s Gleiberman, not Glieberman. And David Edelstein was another former Phoenix critic. Quite a roster and launching pad for that generation of critics.

    Edelstein posted a short piece on NYmag:

    • merton82

      Also Phoenix, not Pheonix.

  • George Prager

    it’s a shame, but all good things must come to an end sooner or later. They became a glossy late last year, which was a signal that it was coming to an end. Luckily, Boston has the Weekly Dig, which is more cutting edge and more in tune with the times. I loved BETWEEN THE LINES, which is available through Warner Archives, In addition to those cast members you mentioned, there is Raymond J. Barry playing a psychotic performance artist, Lane Smith and (SPOILER ALERT!) Richard Cox, the killer in CRUISING.

  • George Prager

    This Phoenix story about a woman James O’Keefe drugged is a testament to how good the Phoenix can be:

  • lazarus

    While he never became a national figure, a guy who deserves to be mentioned is film critic Peter Keough, a perceptive writer who if I’m not mistaken was there at least as early as the mid-90’s when I was in school in Boston.

    Sad to see this paper go under.

    • Raising_Kaned

      Psst….hey Laz — you’ve got a real cute twin further up this thread.

      But she somehow doesn’t seem all that…real…to me.

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  • I think a guy who deserves to be mentioned is film critic Peter Keough, a
    perceptive writer who if I’m not mistaken was there at least as early as
    the mid-90’s when I was in school in Boston.

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  • Raising_Kaned

    Pretty bummed that I apparently missed yet another infamous HE “Pheonix” misspelling. There was a month-long period a couple years back where this word had to be abused a solid 5-6 times by Wells.

    The upside is it looks like we could have some more opportunities in ’13 for a rare sighting what with Joaquin having a pretty packed cinematic plate, the crappy band still being around, and Famke possibly returning for the next X prequel.

  • cyanic

    The title of this thread had me panic Joaquin Phoenix dropped out Inherent Vince.

  • patches23

    And Charlie Pierce, as talented a writer and political blogger as there is…

  • FYI: Adjusted for inflation, that $75 would be $280/week today.

  • Kat

    Very sad to see the demise of the Phoenix. It had gotten ‘soft’ over the past 10 years or so but it was still a better read than the major rags in town as far as politics, art, music. (Prager is correct, The Dig is a great alt-weekly read)

    In the 90’s every Thursday the staff at the club I tended bar at would have a blast reading through the personals section.

  • George Prager

    Goldblum in Between the Lines

  • The illustration looks like a horrible mid-1980s TV Guide cover.

    • punkedup

      No, it looks like a nifty low-key 1970’s film.

  • Sad to say the pay rates haven’t changed in 36 years.

  • chien_clean

    The good thing is I just discovered a new movie i’ve got to see.