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African American 2012 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Film Critic Wesley Morris Leaving Boston Globe

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 4, 2013 11:26 AM
3 Comments
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New year... new beginnings for 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner, Wesley Morris - film critic for The Boston Globe, where he worked for a decade.

He was awarded the 2012 Pulitzer for, what else, Criticism, in the Journalism category.

Next to Armond White, both gents are 2 of the most prominent African American film critics working today.

A sample of Morris' work can be found HERE. By the way, he liked Django Unchained, in case you were wondering. You'll find his review there.

In an interior Boston Globe HQ memo sent yesterday evening, it was announced that Morris is leaving the paper to go write fulltime for Grantland, an ESPN-affiliated sports/pop culture website, as The Maynard Institute notes.

An interesting, and unexpected switch for Mr Morris, I'd say.

Here's the memo, courtesy of journalist Jim Romenesko's blog:

From: Most, Douglas S

Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 6:19 PM

To: !BGHQ-Editorial

Subject: A big loss

There are so many reasons why it’s difficult to write the words: Wesley Morris is leaving us.

All we can do is try to summarize what he’s meant here.

For a moment, forget about the writing. The superb, brilliant writing. Wesley’s presence in our world has been about so much more than just his wonderful film criticism and insightful takes on pop culture. Wesley is a true friend to so many of us. We love him for his infectious sense of humor, his generous heart, and of course his marvelously snappy sense of fashion, as he bounds in from the Red Line wearing one of his many stylish caps.

As for the writing, well, Wesley won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism last year. As the Pulitzer committee wrote, he was deserving “for his smart, inventive film criticism, distinguished by pinpoint prose and an easy traverse between the art house and the big-screen box office.” Wesley’s love of film, his knack for spot-on observations, his dazzling wit, his imagination, and his passion for storytelling come out in everything he writes. On Christmas day, for example, in a tour-de-force review of “Django Unchained,” he offered this passage: The movie is absurdly violent. When a slave owner is shot up in the opening minutes, the blood doesn’t splatter. It splashes like a bowling ball that fell 50 feet into a full bathtub. The film’s assortment of snipings, bludgeonings, and massacres don’t stoop to Tarantino’s typical fatuousness. Almost every corpse wears a principled toe-tag of vengeance.

His Pulitzer was merely a capstone to a remarkable decade-long run with the Globe. He writes three, four, and sometimes five movie reviews in a week, in addition to longer essays or features for our Sunday Movies section. He has written for Ideas, for the magazine, for Books, and for Food, covering new restaurants in our fondly remembered column Sauce.

Wesley is leaving us after 10 years to write for Grantland, where he has had a column on style in the sports world and will write on film and other cultural subjects. We will miss his writing dearly. We will miss him even more. His last day at the Globe is January 11. Please wish him well, and we plan to have a little going away for him next Thursday. Details to come.

Doug & Rebecca

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3 Comments

  • zee | January 5, 2013 6:04 PMReply

    'i'd love to have coffee with this guy and hang out. Gonna read his Django review now!

  • FactChecker | January 4, 2013 4:53 PMReply

    I would like to know more about why such a talented individual decided to leave The Globe, one of the most distinguished and revered newspapers in the country for a webiste with a really bad name (in terms of branding) that no one is aware of. Since the website is owned by ESPN I can only imagine the $$$$ he's getting is bananas. ...Too bad his old position, likely, will not be filled by another person of color.

  • sergio | January 4, 2013 6:00 PM

    "I would like to know more about why such a talented individual decided to leave The Globe," Could it be when he compared Samuel L. Jackson's Django Uncle Tom character to black Republicans in his review of the film?

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