Mitchell tells IndieWire's Dana Harris that in his new role as curator for the Film Independent/Los Angeles County Museum of Art film series, "The first thing I want to do is not alienate people who have been coming to LACMA to see movies."
That said, Mitchell’s interests lie in expanding, if not redefining, what it might mean to see a movie at an art museum. “I’d love to get in the people who make videogames (like) ‘LA Noire,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ he said. “You can’t go to movies and not see the influence of those games. I want to expand and not ignore the late 20th-century additions to filmed entertainment.”
That also could include television. “For kids under 25, there is no line of demarcation anymore,” he said. “There’s not that kind of snobbery.”
Mitchell said he could imagine programming a week of Steven Spielberg’s TV work, which included TV movie “The Sugarland Express” as well as the first episode of “Columbo” (which was written by Steven Bochco.) “I remember seeing (1968-1971 TV series) ‘The Name of the Game’ and the episode ‘LA 2017,’ which was sort of a ‘THX 1138’ ripoff,” Mitchell said. “I remember thinking it didn’t look anything like television. He brought a whole new kind of film perspective to television.”
He also sees opportunity in serving as an outlet for films that get little in the way of significant distribution but have the potential to find a real audience. “I’ve seen stuff I’d love to program out of Pusan and Mexico,” he said. “You can’t ignore the Asian and Hispanic populations in LA. We can let audiences know independent film is not just about white men.”
Mitchell will be moving back to Los Angeles from New York, he tells Harris.