Vito

VitoposterBBBB.5

(out of 5)


Sixteen years after the excellent documentary The Celluloid Closet, based on the book by Vito Russo, comes this superb documentary about the life of the man himself. It’s a riveting exploration of the inspiring and impressive use he made of his tragically short time on this earth: the beginnings of his activism for gay rights (which he never stopped fighting for), his Celluloid Closet lectures in which he illuminated for countless audiences the marginalization of gays and lesbians that was supported by Hollywood (and which became the basis of his book), and on to his final days and death from AIDS at 44. Director Jeffrey Schwarz takes the traditional documentary approach, combining found footage with talking head interviews, but the assembly is airtight and the content is riveting; Russo was there during all the most important events in gay activism of the sixties, seventies and eighties, in many cases because he contributed to making them happen, and from the looks of it his efforts for progress and change during these times were invaluable. Not wanting to be too strident, however, Schwarz also makes sure we understand that both his desire to live his life openly and his interest in exposing the limits of poor media representation in Hollywood (which led to him being one of the founding members of GLAAD) stemmed from a love for life, men and movies…he simply couldn’t help but put his passions to work. Watch it, especially if you’re a fan of Friedman and Epstein’s documentary (they appear in interviews here), it makes a wonderful companion piece, and is a moving and inspiring account of a man who never failed to make the most of his opportunities.


Automat Pictures, Making it Big

USA, 2011

Directed by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by

Music by

Film Editing by


Vitovitovito041-1024x660

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s