Tag Archives: Elvis Mitchell


This week in Beverly Hills, Ludwig Göransson—composer for all of Ryan Coogler’s films, and producer of Haim and Childish Gambino—will perform live and join Elvis Mitchell for a conversation about film music and production.



Tuesday, January 15, at 7:30 pm.

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

9390 Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills.

Above: Fruitvale Station original soundtrack album.

Below: Donald Glover (left) and Ludwig Göransson.


DESTROYER—a new template for sunshine noir and one of its greatest cinematic exponents since Chinatown—is the deeply evocative redemption song of an undercover cop (Nicole Kidman, jagged, reeling, transformed) on a contemporary odyssey across Los Angeles, finally making sense of a life marked and almost ruined by an act of hesitation seventeen years ago.

As director Karyn Kusama told a Film Independent Presents audience earlier this month at the Arclight Hollywood, “We all love genre, we all love criminals, but these kinds of movies get a little too easy… We want to see the consequences, the toll.”

Kusama was speaking for herself and her writers—her husband Phil Hay and his writing partner Matt Manfredi—and all three will return to the Arclight this week for post-screening Q & A’s, followed by Nicole Kidman during the first weekend in January.


Now playing.


Saturday, January 12, after the 7:30 pm show.

Cinerama Dome

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.



Friday and Saturday, January 4 and 5, at 7:30 pm.


Wednesday through Sunday, December 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30, following the 7:15 pm shows.

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Top: Elvis Mitchell, Karyn Kusama, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi at the Film Independent Presents screening of Destroyer at the ArcLight, Hollywood, December 12, 2018.

Above: Kusama, Arclight, December 12, 2018.

Arclight photographs by Araya Diaz/Getty Images, courtesy the photographer and Film Independent Presents.

Below: Nicole Kidman and Sebastian Stan (back to camera) in Destroyer.

Kidman and Stan photograph courtesy Annapurna Pictures.


In 1931, the twenty-four-year-old Parisian thief Henri Charrière was railroaded on a murder charge and sent to French Guiana to do hard time.

His tales of incarceration, solitary confinement, escape, recapture, and eventual freedom were published in the 1969 nonfiction novel PAPILLON, an international bestseller centered on the relationship between Charrière (nicknamed “Papillon”; see sternum tattoo) and Louis Dega, a counterfeiter—and “soft” inmate—who befriended Papi for protection in exchange for Dega’s cash.

In a comedic, free-wheeling post-screening conversation this week with Elvis Mitchell of Film Independent at the Writers Guild, director Michael Noer talked about his new version of the book (previously filmed in 1973) as a “coming-of-age” story, a “love story between two men who are totally different, who are dealing with chaos and disorder.”

In the remake, Charlie Hunnam makes a visceral physical impact in the title role, and Rami Malek ably embodies Dega. Convict-turned-award-winning-actor Roland Møller (memorable in Land of Mine) lends an additional level of realism to a film that spares little in its depiction of the degradations of prison life.

PAPILLON, now playing.



Top: Charlie Hunnam (right) as “Papi” and Michael Socha as Julot in Papillon.

Above: Roland Møller as Celier.

Below: Hunnam, director Michael Noer, and Rami Malek on the set.


Image result for michael b jordan fahrenheit 451

“You’re still high on kerosene, aren’t you? I can smell it from here.” – Beatty to Guy Montag, in FAHRENHEIT 451

In a world where Frederick Douglass remains alive, well, and discredited (at least among a disingenuous White House cadre), the news that Benjamin Franklin – founder of the first American fire department – gave license to burn is less than surprising.

Intelligence is suspect, facts confuse and divide us, and memories can only bring on depression. The solutions are mandatory medication and the eternal flame of vigilance as a Praetorian guard of fireman – led by Beatty (Michael Shannon) and his protégé Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan) – fans out over the city on a search-and-destroy mission to destroy unauthorized hard drives.

On a good night, the uniformed flamethrowers hit the holy grail: rooms full of actual books. The look, the feel, the sensuality of printed paper bound between covers prove too alluring for young Montag. Out of a particularly vivid bonfire he surreptitiously rescues a copy of Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground and smuggles it back home. And a light turns on in his head.

Writer/director Ramin Bahrani’s new version of Ray Bradbury’s classic 1953 novel FAHRENHEIT 451 – Bradbury’s confrontation with the specters of McCarthyism and television – screens on HBO this weekend. When François Truffaut filmed the book in 1966, the Vietnam War was escalating, but Watergate was still in the future. In our dark, new age of fake-fake news and institutional kleptocracy, Bradbury’s extraordinary prescience rings truer than ever.

During a Film Independent at LACMA screening earlier this month, Bahrani talked with program curator Elvis Mitchell about his latest work.

“I wanted to risk a lot with this film, and more daunting than [the version by] Truffaut was Bradbury himself and the book..

“Like people first read FAHRENHEIT 451 in high school, I wanted to make a film that would impact high-school students today. This is not a movie about the future. It’s a movie about an alternate tomorrow.”


FAHRENHEIT 451, Saturday, May 19, at 8 pm, on HBO.



See: thedailybeast.com/michael-shannon-on-fahrenheit-451

Above: Michael Shannon (left) and Michael B. Jordan in Fahrenheit 451. Image credit: HBO.

Below: Ramin Bahrani (left) and Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent at LACMA Fahrenheit 451 post-screening Q & A, Bing Theater, LACMA, May 3, 2018.

Ramin Bahrani, Elvis Mitchell, MS, Stage


“All of the characters are rebellious and wrong-headed, and I wanted the screenplay to be that, too.” — Steven Rogers, screenwriter of I, TONYA, at the Film Independent screening at LACMA, December 8.

I, TONYA—director Craig Gillespie’s biopic of the infamous Tonya Harding and cohort—is a complicated film of multiple subjectivities. Wildly entertaining on one hand, yet occasionally squirm-making in its depiction of parental and spousal sadism as a component of a laugh-riot mockumentary.

“This never happened,” a gun-wielding Tonya (Margot Robbie) says as she glares into the camera, just before giving chase to her violent joke of a husband (Sebastian Stan) and blowing a hole through a kitchen cabinet. It’s one of the few times Tonya gets her own back during her three years with Jeff Gillooly, whom she married in order to escape the years of abuse dished out by her grenade-launching-helicopter-mom-from-hell (Allison Janney, peerless).

Tonya’s solace was figure skating, the one thing she truly excelled at. But—according to the panels who judged her performances and the media that covered them—excellence wasn’t enough. Tonya had the bad taste to be born poor, and all the choices that followed—the homemade outfits, the blue eye shadow, the crass corporate rock playlist that accompanied her out on the ice—prevented her from getting the scores she deserved in a sport where success is predicated on image as much as skill.


I, TONYA, now playing.

ARCLIGHT HOLLYWOOD, 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.



LANDMARK, 10850 West Pico Boulevard, Rancho Park, Los Angeles.


I, Tonya editor Tatiana S. Riegel, screenwriter Steven Rogers, and Film Independent curator Elvis Mitchell at the I, Tonya at LACMA, December 7, 2017. Images courtesy of WireImage and Film Independent.

Tatiana S. Riegel, Steven Rogers, Elvis Mitchell, MS Stage