Elvis Mitchell Gets Hired By LACMA

After Elvis Mitchell, Movieline‘s verbose ex-chief movie critic, got fired after being called out for writing a review on a movie he hadn’t seen, some people (me) thought he would never work in the industry again. But leave it to the artsy elite in L.A. to open their arms and welcome the disgraced critic into the fold of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. According to 24 Frames, Mitchell has just been named curator of a weekly film series staged by the LACMA and Film Independent.

Mitchell will start the full-time position in July, with the first program screening this Fall. According to LACMA and Film Independent execs, Mitchell will work closely with other curators and officials already in place. The film series that Mitchell will curate will include “previews of feature-length narrative and documentary films, archival films and repertory series, international films, along with conversations with new and veteran filmmakers and artists, family films and special guest-curated programs. There will also be monthly post-screening receptions.”

I’m not sure what exactly Mitchell will be doing as “curator” of a film series…I hope it doesn’t include writing movie reviews, as Mitchell’s street cred is now non-existent. Mitchell was called out after he posted a movie review of Source Code earlier this year. It contained some obvious inaccuracies that proved Mitchell could not have seen the movie, and consequently his employment with Movieline was terminated.

Mitchell’s work history seems a little cagey, as he has been appointed to a number of high-profile gigs and then left abruptly, or an announced job would suddenly dematerialize. Deadline reports that Mitchell was hired by Sony’s Columbia Pictures to start a new office, but he never showed up for work and to this day no one at Sony knows why. Most recently, he was announced as the co-host on new film series “Ebert Presents at the Movies”, and before it premiered his departure was announced.

He also never explained what happened with the Source Code review. Movieline editors had been “working hard for a week to ascertain exactly what had happened” soon after a tweet by Source Code director Duncan Jones brought the error to light. Apparently, Mitchell told his editors that he had been at a screening of the film and it was all a misunderstanding, and that he would provide a written explanation. No explanation ever materialized, and Mitchell was let go.

I don’t understand his reticence if it was all a big mistake. No big deal then to write an explanation and come out publicly with it. I think his silence is more damning then the “ash from his pipe.” And I certainly won’t be surprised if Mitchell is mysteriously “unattached” to this new curator job before the series airs this Fall.

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