Thursday, April 05, 2007


I have no idea how I missed the news that Premiere magazine would be shutting down. I believe I still have about, oh, a year on my subscription -- but let's not even mention the economic losses here. For someone who studies movie magazines, I'm here to confirm that this was one of the last of its kind, at least in the U.S.

I've just quickly gathered some info on this and, quite frankly, I agree with many of the sentiments. Yes, there are problems with "long-lead" entertainment magazines in this day and age, particularly with the blogosphere around where we can make all sorts of scandal immediately upon hearing a rumor. Yes, this was particularly true with their Oscar predictions which, predicted months before publication, now tended to be way off. Yes, they had become -- just say it -- trashier.

But they weren't that trashy, certainly not to the (delectably trashy) level of Entertainment Weekly. I have always felt that EW is eminently disposable and dispose of it I do; as my wife can confirm, however, I have kept my copies of Premiere since my subscription began sometime in the early 1990s. Seriously, I have them all. Mainly because sometimes the articles came in very useful for historical purposes: when I found it, EW's Popwatch blog mentioned one of my absolute favorite pieces ever, one where Ben Affleck interviews himself. (The cover is picturered here as well.) More than anything, the articles that mattered were the longer pieces that really got at the heart of matters. I think of those kind of pieces in Vanity Fair and indeed am surprised when I see something like it in EW -- but I expected it from Premiere. A year's subscription has been the top prize for my Oscar Party every year: a good film rag that wasn't too pulpy, nor too academic.

The website will live on in an interesting new form and, given I hadn't appreciated their site before (which was really a retread of the print version, yawn), I will be checking it out now. But I'm a print kind of guy and I'll really miss not getting my monthly copy. It's definitely a sign that that part of my life is over.

Then again, maybe my book about film magazines as historical pieces suddenly has relevance.

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