WATCH AT HOME!
Film Bitch History
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Emmy Nomination Reactions

"Whenever Niecy Nash is an option I've got to pause a minute and appreciate that she walks among us." - Scott

"Schitt's Creek has managed to outdo just about every other show, comedy or drama, in how it gives its characters genuine life beats to play off, and to then pay off in beautiful (and hilarious) ways." -Manny

"Overall, I'm satisfied with the nominations. A lot of good surprises." - Goodbar


Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Interviews

LULU WANG on The Farewell

 

recent

Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in Vito Russo (3)

Wednesday
Nov182015

HBO’s LGBT History: The Celluloid Closet (1995) & Vito (2011)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we went a bit #NSFW and looked at six gay sex scenes that ranged from violent/sexy (Oz) to just fully sexy (Looking). This week, we go from the sexually explicit to the (homo)sexually implicit as we turn to The Celluloid Closet and the HBO documentary Vito (Netflix) on the iconic queer film historian, Vito Russo.

“In 100 years of movies, homosexuality has only rarely been depicted on the screen. When it did appear, it was as something to laugh at, or something to pity, or even something to fear. These were fleeting images but they were unforgettable. Hollywood, that great maker of myths taught straight people what to think of gay people. And gay people what to think about themselves. No one escaped its influence.” - Lily Tomlin in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s documentary based on Russo’s work.

As soon as you hear Tomlin’s words, you know you’re in good hands.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul112013

Emmy AND Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

The eligibility of documentaries for awardage from both that lusted after winged woman (Emmy) and the coveted naked man (Oscar) is a labyrinthine maze from which we would never exit were we to foolishly enter. In fact, someone needs to make a documentary about THAT to sort it all out. Documentaries leave strange crumbs all over both the big and small screens on their long walking journey through often complicated and extremely protacted "releases".

I bring this up because a portion of the Emmy nominations were announced today (like The Grammys there are hundreds of categories) in the non-fiction fields of news and documentary. I was surprised, for example, to see Semper Fi: Always Faithful, The Loving Story and We Were Here as nominees. You may recall they were all Oscar finalists (though not nominees) back in 2011 and now they're up for 2013 Emmys! Actual nominees from that Oscar year show up too, particularly those from the Best Documentary Short category. I thought we'd highlight a few categories in case you've seen any of these films. They might be familiar to you even if you spend more time in theaters than in front of your television. 

OUTSTANDING INFORMATIONAL PROGRAMMING - LONG FORM

OUTSTANDING HISTORICAL PROGRAMMING - LONG FORM

Awesome cinephile Vito Russo with fellow AIDS Activist Elizabeth Taylor

  • The Loving Story -HBO Documentary Films
  • Vito -HBO Documentary Films (read our interview with director Jeffrey Schwartz. Vito Russo wrote the groundbreaking book "The Celluloid Closet" which is all about the problems of LGBT presence in Hollywood films. That book and his AIDS activism are his legacy. This doc was also nominated for "Best Research")
  • Jesse Owens - American Experience PBS
  • We Were Here - Independent Lens PBS [Available on Netflix Instant Watch]
  • Nostalgia for the Light -POV PBS

And there are several other categories of non fiction programming too like "arts and cultural, science, and economic" . Finally, all the fields seem to unite under the umbrella category "Best Documentary" which has six nominations, all of them previous Oscar nominees or finalists except for Nostalgia for the Light, which nevertheless had a movie awards presence winning Best Documentary at the European Film Awards and winning a WGA nomination as well. That said I should note that this is no guarantee that how the docs aired on television is the same way they aired in cinema since documentaries can shape shift as they switch mediums and details of their stories continue to emerge. Some get much longer and are divvied up into segments for news programs. 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Project NIM -HBO Documentary Films
  • Saving Face - HBO Documentary Films
  • The Loving Story - HBO Documentary Films
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - HBO Documentary Films
  • Hell and Back Again - Independent Lens -PBS 
  • Nostalgia for the Light - POV PBS

Do you like docs and if so have you seen any of these films?

P.S. Of Note: 60 Minutes won a nomination for "Outstanding Interview" for their profile of Steven Spielberg during Lincoln's run. If winged Emmy is anything like naked Oscar, it won't win its category. 

P.P.S. The Emmy nominations most people talk about when they talk about Emmys are the ones that will be announced a week from today on July 18th. We'll talk about those soon!

 

Monday
Jul302012

"Vito" and Jeffrey

If you didn't get a chance to see the premiere of VITO last week, make sure to tune in to one of its final airings [July 31st: 12:45 p.m.; Aug. 4th: 3:00 p.m.; Aug 8th: 9:15 a.m.] or find it on alternate HBO channels or HBOGO. The documentary is about the life and activism of Vito Russo (1946-1990) who was the author of the seminal non-fiction book "The Celluloid Closet" the definitive kick off point to the now robust commonplace conversation about the depiction of LGBT people in filmed entertainment. 

VITO RUSSO (1946-1990), Author, Activist, Cinephile

I spoke with Jeffrey Schwarz, Vito's director, for Towleroad last weekend. I'd previously seen Schwarz's documentary about B movie showman William Castle (Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story) and we talked for an hour about a wide range of things beyond Vito including his work as the producer of "added value content" for DVDs. He's worked for a who's who of auteurs (Lynch, Scorsese, the Coens, and many many more) on bonus features and "making of" projects. It's not a subject one hears much about in terms of what goes on behind the curtain -- The Making of The Making of! -- perhaps that's diving too deep down the DVD/Bluray rabbit hole?

But I thought I'd share a few notes that didn't make it into my Towleroad interview for lack of space as well as being slightly off the Vito doc topic.

NATHANIEL R: You run this company Automat Pictures that does DVD extras. You've worked with these legends, almost mythically famous directors.

JEFFREY SCHWARZ: If you love movies, what I do for a living is a like a dream come true. I started doing this in 1998 when I got a job editing and shooting behind the scenes on Gus Van Sant's Psycho. That's how I got into this business. I didn't even have a DVD player yet! The format was first emerging and the studios were hiring independent producers to make added value content. I got lucky because I was in the right place at the right time. I'd actually pitched my William Castle movie to Sony because they own all the William Castle movies. I was a little bit naive thinking that this big studio would want to produce my documentary but they did end up hiring me to produce the DVD extras for The Tingler!

That's really what got me started -- first it was Psycho, then it was The Tingler! and that led to other jobs for other studios. 

Jeffrey Schwarz at screening of SPINE TINGLER! (image via Gay of the Dead)

more after the jump including oscar protests, evil lesbians, and staying angry

Click to read more ...