Brooklyn, New York, based gay porn performer has revealed a new talent over the last month: film criticism. Mitchell offered his analysis of two of 2017’s most-discussed films, both likely Oscar contenders, in the online pages of two popular news and culture sites, Paste Magazine and Mic.com.
Mitchell who bills himself on his —and without further explanation—as the “the first openly gay porn star,” first tackled the Luca Guadagnino-directed Call Me By Your Name, a same-sex love story about a grad student played by Armie Hammer who falls in love with the teenage son of his professor during a summer in Italy.
Call Me By Your Name received , though it didn’t take home any awards at Sunday night’s ceremony.
But in his December 5 of the film for , Mitchell seemed underwhelmed.
“Call Me By Your Name is an unusual movie about same-sex desire. Perhaps this is because it is void of camp, gratuitous six-packs, or overt political statements, or perhaps because its attempts to transcend sexual identity render it more accessible to tolerant straight audiences,” Mitchell wrote.
“But it is not an unprecedented kind of film, falling somewhere among the ranks of Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011) for the former reason and 2016 best picture Moonlight for the latter.”
This week, Mitchell again turned his critical eye on another likely Oscar contender, this one without an obviously gay theme: the lyrically macabre monster romance The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, who is perhaps best known for helming the film adaptations of the comic book Hellboy.
But rather than review the film himself, Mitchell was the subject of an by the publication’s own film writer Kyle Turner. The piece is advertised as the first in a series titled “Adult Film Watchers,” in which Turner plans to “take a porn star to the movies and afterwards we’ll talk about the movie, inevitably talking about broader ideas regarding where art and porn intersect and how they’ve shaped us.”
As part of the discussion, Mitchell ruminates on the nature of sex, as expressed by Del Toro’s film—which , including a “Best Director” for Del Toro, out of seven nominations on Sunday.
“It’s important to me to take sexual representation more seriously, to talk about it more openly, to talk about porn," Mitchell said. "Not take it more seriously in the sense of being pretentious about it, but like taking it seriously as something we all watch and consume. It’s weird that we don’t talk about it, when we talked about The Shape of Water so openly.”