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Circus of Books (2019)

In 1976, Karen and Barry Mason had fallen on hard times and were looking for a way to support their young family when they answered an ad in the Los Angeles Times. Larry Flynt was seeking ... See full summary »

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Rachel Mason
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Cast

Credited cast:
Larry Flynt ... Himself
Rachel Mason ... Herself
Jeff Stryker ... Himself
Alaska Thunderfuck
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Storyline

In 1976, Karen and Barry Mason had fallen on hard times and were looking for a way to support their young family when they answered an ad in the Los Angeles Times. Larry Flynt was seeking distributors for Hustler Magazine. What was expected to be a brief sideline led to their becoming fully immersed in the LGBT community as they took over a local store, Circus of Books. A decade later, they had become the biggest distributors of gay porn in the US. The film focuses on the double life they led, trying to maintain the balance of being parents at a time when LGBT culture was not yet accepted. Their many challenges included facing jail time for a federal obscenity prosecution and enabling their store to be a place of refuge at the height of the AIDS crisis. Circus of Books offers a rare glimpse into an untold chapter of queer history, and it is told through the lense of the owners' own daughter, Rachel Mason, an artist, filmmaker and musician.

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 April 2019 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A documentary of accidental gay porn entrepreneurs
27 May 2019 | by chong_anSee all my reviews

This is a very interesting documentary of the life of a straight Jewish couple. Seeking income of any sort, they start distributing Hustler magazine, then take over a bookstore whose owner has been delinquent in payments. It turns out that the bookstore's main business is gay porn, and they manage to make a success of a business they don't fully understand. Their good reputation in the porn community lead to their producing gay porn movies, including ones by superstar Jeff Stryker. Along the way, they have to deal with people disappearing in the AIDS era, a porn prosecution under the Regan administration, keeping a blind eye to what was happening in their "back room", and keeping their 3 children from learning what the "bookstore" really sells.

The last part becomes ironic, when 1 of their sons had to come out as gay, which did bother his religious mother. Meanwhile, this movie was a project of their daughter, who managed to get intimate confessions that would not be possible with a stranger


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