Vito Russo in 1981 at premier of The Celluloid Closet in the Castro Theatre (Photo courtesy Vito, the documentary)
In a nod to their own historic 30th anniversary, Outfest screened the important documentary VITO on opening night last Wednesday. Renee Sotile & Mary Jo Godges of Traipsing Thru Films interviewed director Jeffery Schwarz, composer Miriam Cutler, and Russo friend Bruce Vilanch, who says that Russo left him the only film of Bette Midler with Barry Manilow on piano performing at the gay Continental Baths.
Gay and AIDS activist Vito Russo thought it was critical that LGBT people understand the history of how we have been represented on film - which contributed to how society saw and treated us in real life. Now Vito Russo is the subject of that important history in a new documentary airing on HBO July 23.
Video after the break.