LACMA's Michael Govan and Elvis Mitchell Talk to LA Weekly about Star-Centric Film Program

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by Anne Thompson
November 17, 2011 1:44 PM
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LACMA film host Elvis Mitchell
LA Weekly critic Karina Longworth carefully examines how the Los Angeles County Museum chief Michael Govan is changing the film program. He explains why Ian Birnie had to go, why he chose to partner with Film Independent and look for patrons such as the NYT. Longworth also interviews FIND's controversial film program host Elvis Mitchell. She is nothing but fair. Here's her hardest-hitting bit: 

Govan has encouraged Mitchell to build events around marquee guests. To him, it only makes sense that a museum in the heart of the home of the film industry would take advantage of that industry. He calls it "site specificity." But there's "taking advantage of the resources of Los Angeles," and then there's starfucking. In response to the suggestion that his own stardom, and his relationships with famous people, greased his path into the LACMA position, Mitchell says, "Well, I think they were interested in the kind of things I would program here. I hope it wasn't as cynical as, 'We get him in here and he can call some people.' "
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