Elvis Mitchell has held (and also left) a lot of jobs in the world of film, from New York Times critic to television host to documentarian. Indiewire's own Anne Thompson once said that he's "such a fascinating, complicated character that he deserves his own mini-series," in a piece that outlined his various hirings and firings, and his run-ins with the IRS and Canadian customs agents (over $12,000 in cash and 15 Cuban cigars he tried to bring to the Toronto Film Festival).
Mitchell currently works as the host of the superb radio interview series "The Treatment" and as the curator of Film Independent's screenings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and yesterday he talked about both gigs in an inteview with Mediabistro. The piece included an interesting exchange in which writer Richard Horgan asked Mitchell if he'd ever consider going back to work at a daily newspaper. Here's what was said:
Would you ever consider, if the opportunity arose, returning to the ranks of a daily newspaper film critic?
[Laughs] The workload for a film critic today is just so Herculean. They're writing reviews, they're blogging and they're doing extra things for the Web. And, with movies that are based on books, you want to at least give the book a thumb-through and prepare. Add in film festivals and I'm not sure how people in the profession can keep up with it today. It's just shattering now, the workload.
I love that he literally laughed at the question. Newspaper critic? Surely you jest! I love that he's so honest about why, too: no thanks, too much work.
Is a film critic's workload too "shattering" these days? I don't think so, provided you're cool with never seeing or speaking to your loved ones and don't particularly care for sleep. What's the guy complaining about?
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