Elvis Mitchell

Elvis Mitchell (born December 6, 1958) is an American film critic, host of the public radio show The Treatment, and visiting lecturer at Harvard University.[1] He has served as a film critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the LA Weekly, The Detroit Free Press, and The New York Times. In the summer of 2011, he was appointed as curator of LACMA's new film series, Film Independent at LACMA. He is also currently a Film Scholar and lecturer at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Elvis Mitchell
Mitchell in 2007.
Born (1958-12-06) December 6, 1958
Alma materWayne State University (1980)
OccupationFilm critic

Life and career

Mitchell was born in Highland Park, Michigan, in the Metro Detroit area. He graduated in 1980 from Wayne State University, where he majored in English. He was a film critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the LA Weekly, The Detroit Free Press, and The New York Times.[2]

In the 1990s, Mitchell was part of a short-lived PBS show called Edge.[3] On the series, he provided film commentary and general criticism. In one segment, Mitchell offered a quick run-down of all of director Oliver Stone's tropes, including "always keep that camera moving," which he said while moving a camcorder over a model of a Vietnam jungle and prison camp set up on a table.

In March 2005 Mitchell was announced as the co-head (along with producer Deborah Schindler) of a New York City office for Sony's Columbia Pictures. Mitchell's role would be to help scout new minority talent and make movies for minority audiences. Yet Mitchell simply disappeared, leaving Schindler to run the office alone and to this day refuses to discuss his odd behavior.[4]

Mitchell produced The Black List in 2008, with director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, a documentary film about race, culture and the seeds of success. The film includes Toni Morrison, Chris Rock and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among others. A follow-up film, The Black List Part 2, was filmed in the same style with director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. The second film features Angela Davis, Tyler Perry and RZA.

Since 1996, Mitchell has been the host of Santa Monica, California, public radio station KCRW's pop culture and film interview program The Treatment, which is nationally distributed and podcast. He served for a number of years as a pop culture commentator for Weekend Edition on NPR. In 2008, Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence began airing on Turner Classic Movies. On the program, Mitchell interviews actors and directors about their favorite classic films.

Mitchell is featured in the 2009 documentary film For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism discussing how he was championed as a young writer by Pauline Kael, and the impact on him as an adolescent of the Herschell Gordon Lewis film, Two Thousand Maniacs!.[5]

On September 10, 2010, film critic Roger Ebert announced that he would be returning to television on a movie review show that he was producing for public television. He also announced that Mitchell, along with film critic Christy Lemire of the Associated Press, would be featured on the new program reviewing the new films released.[6] On December 14, 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Mitchell would not be appearing on the new show.[7]

In January 2011 it was announced that Mitchell had joined the Movieline as chief film critic, along with Stephanie Zacharek.[8] Penske Media Corp terminated him after more than three months as Movieline.com's chief film critic.[9]

Mitchell has been hired by the LACMA in partnership with Film Independent as curator of a new film series, Film Independent at LACMA. It was announced on June 16, 2011 that Mitchell would start his new job on the weekly film series this July. The series launched on October 13, 2011 with the world premiere of The Rum Diary, an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's novel, by director Bruce Robinson, starring Johnny Depp.[10]

On April 4, 2019, Mitchell was the moderator at the 2019 CinemaCon Filmmakers Forum, where the guests included Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, and the Russo brothers.

In 2007, Mitchell appeared in an episode of the HBO TV series Entourage, playing himself.

In 2014, Mitchell was mentioned as "the bad boy of public radio" during the FOX TV series Bob's Burgers episode "Friends With Burger-Fits."


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