Circus of Books

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Total Count: 6

Audience Score

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Movie Info

For over 35 years, the gay porn shop, Circus of Books, served as the epicenter for LGBT life and culture in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to many in the community it served, the store was cultivated and cared for by its owners, Karen and Barry Mason; a straight couple with three children. CIRCUS OF BOOKS is an intimate portrait of the Masons and their journey to become one of the biggest distributors of hardcore gay porn in the United States. Their story unfolds through the lens of their daughter, filmmaker and artist, Rachel Mason.


Critic Reviews for Circus of Books

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

  • "Circus of Books" is an affectionate look at one of the most unusual mom and pop businesses in America, directed by the person who knew Mom and Pop best.

    Jul 24, 2019 | Full Review…

    Peter Debruge

    Top Critic
  • Circus of Books is chock full of entertaining characters, but Karen ultimately emerges as the film's complicated and fascinating heroine.

    May 2, 2019 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Jude Dry

    Top Critic
  • [A] very funny, very moving documentary.

    Apr 29, 2019 | Full Review…
  • For those wishing to understand a slice of LGBTQ culture and history, Mason's poignant film is a high-priority watch.

    May 5, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Circus of Books is a complicated family portrait, illuminating its subjects with love and understanding but also with the mixed emotions to be expected from any family.

    May 4, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It sends a strong message that we should never be ashamed of who or what we are and that the freedoms we enjoy were fought and won in the most unusual of places.

    May 2, 2019 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Circus of Books

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