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April 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Veteran Variety film critic Todd McCarthy, who was recently laid off by the trade publication after 31 years, has signed with the website IndieWire to create a new blog called Deep Focus. In his first posting he indicated that while he had received “some intriguing proposals” after he was cut loose by Variety, none of them came from a major newspaper or magazine. Film critic jobs, he wrote, “barely exist anymore and the few critics who have them know how lucky they are.” McCarthy wrote that his new online outlet will give him greater freedom. At Variety, he said, he “tried in my reviews to merge the required commercial perspective with serious critical evaluation. With this new site, I will continue writing formal reviews of important new pictures, but the blog aspect will permit me to write about so many other things. … and the possibility to expand the way I write about films and the film world is enormously energizing.” In an interview with’s Sharon Waxman, Rick Allen, CEO of SnagFilms, which owns IndieWire, said, “This came about because we were shocked as everybody was by Variety‘s decision to not continue with its critics. [Variety has indicated that it expects at least some of its former critics will continue providing reviews as freelancers.] … We thought Todd was extremely important to the ecosystem that we all live in, and we wanted to make sure his voice continued to be heard.”