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Posts Tagged ‘Elvis Mitchell’

Kevin Pollak Recalls Trying to Teach Gabriel Byrne How to Imitate Carson

The oddest and funniest echo of this week’s gargantuan news trail about the future of The Tonight Show belongs to Kevin Pollak.

During the actor’s appearance on KCRW’s weekly program The Treatment, host Elvis Mitchell noted that Pollak’s new book How I Slept My Way to the Middle does not include the business of how just about everyone on the set of The Usual Suspects got into imitating Carson. Here’s Pollak, from the March 20 radio conversation:

“When you say everyone was doing Johnny Carson, I want to give credit to Kevin Spacey. Kevin and I both do a really good Johnny Carson. Everyone else was just being kind of silly, except for Gabriel Byrne, who was fascinated…”

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Get Ready for Some Glorious Glengarry Glen Role Reversal

EW senior writer Anthony Breznican, keeper of LACMA Live Read scoops, is absolutely right when he suggests that next week’s staging of Glengarry Glen Ross has the potential to match the excitement of Season One’s Reservoir Dogs event. That’s because instead of a stage lined with African-Americans doing Tarantino, Jason Reitman will guide a gaggle of women through Mamet.

The spectacular February 21 line-up will feature Robin Wright (reading the role of Ricky Roma), Catherine O’Hara (Shelley Levene), Maria Bello (Dave Moss), Allison Janney (George Aaronow) and Mae Whitman (John Williamson). Per Breznican’s report:

Every performance re-imagines the script with a new actor in each role, but after the success of Reservoir Dogs last year Reitman and LACMA film curator Elvis Mitchell wanted to have another live-read where the entire cast shared a trait that was new to the story.

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Elvis Mitchell: ‘Showbiz journalism is even more shallow than I thought’

Since departing The New York Times in 2005, Elvis Mitchell has continued to host “The Treatment,” his popular weekly syndicated public radio show. But, after the media missed the biggest scoop in his Interview piece with Joaquin Phoenix, Mitchell called the field of entertainment news “shallow” and said his fellowjournos still have much work to do.

“Showbiz journalism is even more shallow than I thought it would be,” ”There is a pretty lengthy part of the conversation that is about race, which I thought was as worthy if not more so as to what he was saying about awards season,” said Mitchell in the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do series.

“That he walked away from a movie because he wasn’t happy with the way it was being handled, and he thought there was this inertia that plays on this really antiquated attitude towards people of color in the movies. And so far as I can see, almost nobody picked that up. I thought that would have been the thing that had people really jumping.”

Read more in So What Do You Do, Elvis Mitchell, Film Critic and Host of KCRW’s “The Treatment”?

Film Critic Elvis Mitchell on That Joaquin Phoenix Interview

In the October issue of Interview magazine, Joaquin Phoenix made headlines when he told film curator and journalist Elvis Mitchell that the awards season is “total, utter bullsh*t.”

However, that statement was the least interesting part of the interview according to Mitchell.

“There is a pretty lengthy part of the conversation that is about race, which I thought was as worthy if not more so as to what he was saying about awards season,” Mitchell said in the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do series.

“That he walked away from a movie because he wasn’t happy with the way it was being handled, and he thought there was this inertia that plays on this really antiquated attitude towards people of color in the movies. And so far as I can see, almost nobody picked that up. I thought that would have been the thing that had people really jumping.”

Read more in So What Do You Do, Elvis Mitchell, Film Critic and Host of KCRW’s “The Treatment”?

Bill Hader Bows to John Cleese

For the first time since Eddie Murphy in 1983, a Saturday Night Live performer has been nominated at the Primetime Emmys in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Before Bill Hader finds out if he’ll take home the prize, he chatted with Elvis Mitchell for today’s episode of TheTreatment on KCRW.

There’s lots of good stuff about the mysteries of why some SNL skits work and other celebrity hosts don’t, even when they’re killing it in studio. Hader also talks about his admiration for comedians who remained calm amidst the craziness, like Harvey Korman, Gene Wilder and SCTV’s Rick Moranis. In that same vein, he also isolated a formative childhood viewing experience:

“Watching Monty Python and the movie And Now For Something Completely Different in the sketch where John Cleese is the guy teaching people how to defend themselves if anyone attacks with fresh fruit. And the way he plays that is as a real insane person. He doesn’t play it funny, at all. There’s a moment where everyone is listing off – ‘You’ve already told us how to defend us against cherries…’ – but it’s so funny, there’s just a shot of him listening to them and he’s playing it as a psychopath. And that, at a young age, I realized, ‘Oh, that’s what makes it so much funnier.’”

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Jason Reitman’s Reservoir Dogs Rocks the LACMA House

One of the great things about Jason Reitman‘s “Live Read” series for Film Independent at LACMA is that the all-star sessions are never filmed or recorded for Internet posterity. It’s all about the audience surrendering to a live-performance moment. To bring that point home last night, curator Elvis Mitchell donned a pair of sunglasses and jokingly warned that anyone caught using a Smartphone in the audience would get a painful, personal visit from Laurence Fishburne.

Fishburne (pictured), seated center stage, was riveting as Mr. White, cranking out the first pair of Reservoir Dogs reading highlights: the injured-partner-in-the-car scene with Mr. Orange (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and the soulful significant-others discussion with jewelry store heist organizer Joe (Chi McBride). Bookending the all-black cast last night was Reitman, stage-left, who reads the script scene set-up info, and his Young Adult co-star Patton Oswalt, stage-right, who donned several comic relief hats as a radio DJ, policeman and more.

Terrence Howard put his own, seductive spin on the role of psychopath Mr. Blonde, played so memorably in the film by Michael Madsen. He also got one of the biggest laughs of the night when he came to page 59 and, in response to Reitman’s stage direction, told the audience, “I wasn’t ready to die yet.” Reitman quickly adjusted, expanding Quentin Tarantino‘s words to indicate a longer, drawn out death scene.

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Elvis Mitchell is in the LACMA Building

LA Weekly film critic Karina Longworth has treated Elvis Mitchell to the cover story he deserves, a long, full-bodied look at a controversial career trajectory littered with catty, jealous colleagues.

After setting the scene of her mid-October lunch with Mitchell at LACMA’s restaurant Ray’s, Longworth does the same for the day in mid-June when his appointment as the museum’s new film programmer was announced by Film Independent. FishbowlLA was at the cocktail soiree in question, and we well remember the mood she describes:

It was hours before the Los Angeles Film Festival’s opening-night, open-bar party. Mitchell’s hiring quickly became a hot topic within a crowd thick with film journalists, curators and festival programmers–some of whom had applied for the job. Wagers were laid on how long Mitchell would last at the position. One friend joked that the hiring might be [LACMA director Michael] Govan’s attempt to take a page from The Producers–engineering a program destined to fail, so that he could kill off Film at LACMA once and for all.

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Elvis Mitchell Hooks Back Up with the New York Times

It’s truly amazing how journalist and bon vivant Elvis Mitchell manages to hopscotch from one great professional opportunity to another. In the past few months alone, he has jumped from Roger Ebert‘s At the Movies reboot, to Jay Penske‘s Movieline reboot, to now, LACMA’s screening series reboot.

The kicker is that in the case of LACMA, another one of his former employers, the New York Times, will be the presenting sponsor when the museum’s “Film Series” relaunches in the fall. Future generations of media analysts will be able to fill a tar pit with the artifacts of Mitchell’s professional progression. Per today’s press release:

Mitchell will be a full-time staff member at Film Independent and will be working closely with its programming department and LACMA’s curatorial staff to cover a breadth of film that promotes a cinematic dialogue and showcases artistic achievement… He will be starting on July 11 and relocating to Los Angeles.

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Fellow Journalists Place Their Elvis Mitchell Bets

In the wake of Elvis Mitchell‘s latest Hollywood shuffle, the best place to try and get a handle on the critic’s mercurial MO is the comments section to Anne Thompson‘s indieWIRE opinion piece. Several readers take issue with her use of the old trade axiom “Ankles” in the headline, since it implies that he left voluntarily, rather than was axed.

Beyond Thompson’s speculation that Mitchell’s release appears to have had equal amounts to do with a high Movieline.com salary and his failure to respond to some Summit Entertainment feedback about a minor error in his Source Code review, there are some very revealing comments from fellow reporters. Especially this one, from Jack Mathews:

I was the movie editor at the LA Times when Calendar editor Bob Epstein told me he’d hired Elvis to write cultural opinion pieces. Epstein even gave me Elvis’ start date. At precisely the same time, my former editor at the Detroit Free Press told me they’d hired Elvis as their chief film critic, with the same start date. I passed this along to Epstein, but he laughed it off, saying he was certain Elvis was joining us.

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Former NY Times Film Critic Elvis Mitchell, Two Others Join Movieline

Entertainment site Movieline has announced three hires.

Most notably, the website has brought on board former New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell to serve as chief film critic. He was with the Times from 2000 to 2005.

Mitchell, who recently made headlines after being replaced in the planning stages of Roger Ebert’s new PBS movie review program, had also been a critic on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

He will be reviewing films weekly alongside Movieline’s other chief critic, Stephanie Zacharek, and staff critic, Michelle Orange. Mitchell’s duties also include conducting interviews and writing unique features for the site about popular entertainment and the film industry. 

Along with Mitchell, Movieline.com named Jen Yamato as West Coast Editor. She is the former film critic for Movies.com.  

Alonso Duralde is the site’s new DVD Editor.

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