Circus of Books Reviews

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May 29, 2020
Circus of Books is essential viewing-a raw, often hilarious, moving story about a family working in the background of a marginalized culture.
May 29, 2020
Circus of Books is a triumph of filmmaking in the way it covers such a range of topics so seamlessly: LGBTQ history, pornography, religion, obscenity law, media, AIDS, coming out, parenthood, and more.
May 16, 2020
An interesting story about not only gay life in America and the story of a small business, but also what's going on in [a] family that runs this extremely unusual small business.
May 15, 2020
If you hear "mom and pop gay porn store" and don't immediately send Jerry Falwell a check, watch Circus of Books. It's genuinely moving and impeccably made.
May 15, 2020
Circus of Books is a whirlwind of a story, and an absolute triumph of a film.
May 10, 2020
An intimate and fascinating documentary that casts a light on the history and the struggles of the queer community in American society. [Full Review in Spanish]
May 8, 2020
The director narrates with notable care the implications derived from being parents of some pornographers. [Full Review in Spanish]
May 4, 2020
The scrappy style of the film, like the store, is engaging. By the time "Circus of Books" ends, viewers who had been to the hallowed ground should have good memories, while those who never visited, will wish they had been able to visit.
May 1, 2020
Although it doesn't always hit the mark, and there are certain aspects you wish Mason had delved further into, ultimately Circus of Books packs so much heart and warmth that only the coldest of souls would fail to be moved by it come the end credits.
May 1, 2020
Stars of the genre, customers and former employees of the store shape a story that ends up taking a much more personal direction. [Full Review in Spanish]
May 1, 2020
To the Masons, it seemed more like a millstone. Too bad the director treads so lightly on such heavy material.
April 30, 2020
There is a non-glossy quality to the whole documentary that adds to the feeling of its authenticity and mirrors Masons' unfussy approach toward life and work.
April 29, 2020
Circus of Books is the story of an American family who wandered into the eye of history, and a virtuoso example of how to make a movie both very big and very small at once.
April 29, 2020
A riotous and surprisingly emotional documentary.
April 29, 2020
A worthy homage to the Los Angeles-area landmark of LGBTQ+ culture.
April 29, 2020
"Circus of Books" describes the ways that retail stores can forge community, rather than just being capitalist outposts, and suggests what we've lost now that we're trapped at home - involuntarily now, but so often voluntarily.
April 28, 2020
A fascinating look at an important slice of L.A.'s queer history.
April 27, 2020
[A] really heart-warming tale.
April 25, 2020
Karen and Barry are so lovable they feel like a work of fiction, with Barry's perpetual grin and Karen's playful awkwardness at her daughter documenting her everyday routines.
April 24, 2020
You come to see through [director Rachel Mason] telling the story how she came to see her parents as people.
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