For over two decades, Vito Russo was a ubiquitous presence in New York, a ravenous, tireless cinephile and critic who became one of the earliest, most important voices in the struggle for gay rights. His two passions came together in an extraordinary book, The Celluloid Closet, a groundbreaking study of gay and lesbian imagery and themes in movies that remains a landmark in the field. Now Jeffrey Schwarz, using some incredible period footage as well as the testimonies of those who knew him best, has created this heartfelt, insightful portrait of Vito that serves simultaneously as a revealing chronicle of the birth of contemporary gay culture and of later AIDS activism. –NYFF
Jeffrey Schwarz is President & CEO of Automat Pictures, a leading producer of studio EPKs (electronic press kit), Blu-ray and DVD content, original TV programming, and feature films. He has contributed to the success of dozens of major studio releases for directors such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Sam Mendes, Wes Craven, Rob Reiner, Joe Dante, Barry Sonnenfeld, Paul Verhoeven, John Carpenter, Chris Columbus, and the Coen Brothers. Television productions include Starz’s “Sex and the Cinema,” “In the Gutter,” “Hitchcocked!” and “Shooting the Police: Cops on Film,” and IFC’s “Reservoir Dogs Revisited” and “Still Swingin’.” Automat Pictures provided exclusive backstage content for the 2010 Academy Awards produced by Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic. In 2008, Jeffrey premiered the GayVN award winning feature documentary “Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon,” a portrait of adult film star Jack Wrangler. It is distributed by TLA Releasing and had its television… read more
Wonderful doc tracing the life of Vito Russo; film historian, author, gay rights/ aids activist, best known for 'The Celluloid Closet". Pic has a real affinity with who Vito truly was and his impact not only his own community but on America. Through his examination of gay life potrayed on screen he reached a generation helping teach them to overcome their programmed self loathing and to take pride in who they are..
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