The new Roger Ebert-approved At The Movies is launching on 1.21 with Associated Press critic Christy Lemire and Mubi.com contributor Ignatiy Vishnevetsky co-hosting. Elvis Mitchell had been announced as Lemire’s co-host but something didn’t work out and his departure was announced by Roger and co-producer Chaz Ebert on 12.14.
At The Movies co-host Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.
Vishnevetsky is a real-deal, 24 year-old wunderkind who’s bright and enterprising (he co-founded cine-FILE.info) and then some. He’s some kind of anti-Ben Lyons, off-the-planet and full of his own fuel, but honest about being headstrong and cool by my standards. (The mubi.com announcement says that Vishnevetsky “promises to use the word ‘Feuilladian’ as many times on television as possible and to not talk so much about mise-en-abyme.”)
But in a television realm, the name is ridiculous. You can’t expect Joe Popcorn to watch a movie talk show co-hosted by a guy with a name that’s unpronouncable, unrepeatable and unspellable. He might as well be called Ignashloo Ulyanov Glumboshwitzsky. Americans who go to Subway on their lunch hour can roll with Russian names, but it has to be something like Yakov Smirnoff or Irina Sheik or Alexander Nevksy or Sergei Eisenstein or Boris Yeltsin. Say the name Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and 97% will pretend they didn’t hear. Couldn’t he at least call himself “Iggy”?
On the other hand it’s cool to have a brilliant 24 year-old co-hosting an old-fashioned show like this. Vishnevetsky is clearly a charged and ravenous type. He’ll probably be trying to unseat Scott Foundas in 20 years.
It doesn’t matter, of course, who hosts Roger and Chaz‘s upcoming series because it’s all about interactivity and talk-back and the voice of LexG these days. The old format is over. How many want to sit passively in front of a TV screen and listen to know-it-alls, however amusing and engaging? I like this kind of thing, of course, and so do many thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of others, but the vast majority of the viewing public doesn’t. Tell me I’m wrong.
The first two editions of the show will include contributions from Sunset Gun‘s Kim Morgan and Omar Moore of San Francisco. Others guests will be Mirrorfilm.org’s Kartina Richardson, Beliefnet.com’s Nell Minow, Movie City News’ David Poland and CBS News’ Jeff Greenfield.