Legendary filmmaker John Waters says he's "amazed that The Baltimore Sun is letting Mike Sragow leave his position as main film writer" to take another yet-to-be disclosed assignment. "As a home delivery subscriber and a reader online when I am traveling, it is important for me to keep abreast of what is happening in my hometown of Baltimore and how local media responds," Waters writes in a letter to the Sun. He continues:
I don't read The Sun to discover how a film is received in Chicago, I read to see how it will play in Baltimore. Mr. Sragow is a first-rate critic with a national reputation who was brought to Baltimore with great fanfare, and the film-going community here has been well served in the past by his well written and intelligent, humorous, unpretentious take on movies, film festivals and the local Baltimore movie scene. Each month it seems his duties were lessened for reasons that were unfathomable to me, and now even his blog is being discontinued? What a stupid editorial decision and one that leaves the filmmaking community in Baltimore impoverished. Give Mr. Sragow back his position as film critic and blogger.
Meanwhile, I'm still trying to find out why Sragow's "My Life as a Movie Critic" series ended after just two parts last week. (It was was supposed to run all week.) I emailed Sragow and a Sun entertainment editor last Tuesday afternoon after Part 2 failed to go online. I wondered if the Sun had decided to pull the plug on the critic's reminiscences because of criticism of the paper in the comments below his post ("And The Sun gets even dimmer...") A very brief Part 2 was finally posted late Tuesday evening, and Sragow's "My Life" ended with that. "Where are Parts 3-5 of Mike's career chronicle?" a reader wrote in the comments section. I asked Sun entertainment editor Tim Swift that question earlier today -- he was on vacation last week when I first inquired -- and will post his response when/if it comes in.