Circus of Books + Verasphere: A Love Story in Costume

Frameline Encore - Free Screening

Man Made

*All Frameline Encore Screenings are FREE & open to the public*

January's Encore screening is the hit documentary CIRCUS OF BOOKS from Frameline43. The event will begin with the short documentary VERASPHERE: A LOVE STORY IN COSTUME. 

INTRO + Q&A WITH GUESTS: 
Director of VERASPHERE: A LOVE STORY IN COSTUMERobert James
Director of CIRCUS OF BOOKS, Rachel Mason

VERASPHERE: A LOVE STORY IN COSTUME
DIRECTOR: ROBERT JAMES
2019 | USA | 20m

David Faulk and Michael Johnstone were diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s. After meeting in 1994 the two men found a way to channel their uncertainty into an artistic exploration in outrageous costumery. Flash forward to today where the couple’s unique vision has transformed into a city-wide phenomenon. Verasphere captures a vibrant and colorful queer community in San Francisco that continues to build on an elaborate and unifying project.

CIRCUS OF BOOKS
DIRECTOR: Rachel Mason
2019 | USA | 90m

For decades, Karen and Barry Mason were the proprietors of Circus of Books, a small but mighty gay pornography outlet nestled in the heart of West Hollywood. Starting out as distributors of Hustler Magazine to support their growing family, the modest couple never expected to become pillars of the community, let alone operate a space referred to as “the center of the gay universe.” With their unassuming storefront, the Masons provided a sanctuary for men to explore their homosexuality at a time before it was accepted. The couple even faced prison time for obscenity during the Reagan era, and they would eventually become the biggest distributors of hardcore gay films in the country, all while raising three children (within a surprisingly conservative home environment).

Featuring salacious stories and candid interviews with former patrons and employees, including drag superstar Alaska Thunderfuck, adult film legend Jeff Stryker, and publishing titan Larry Flynt, filmmaker Rachel Mason peels back the curtain on her parents’ unlikely rise within the industry and LGBTQ+ community, and how their humble business became an historic landmark in this exuberant and penetrating documentary about a traditional family that was anything but.

This venue is accessible to wheelchair users. Captions will not be available at this screening.

This free event is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, Grants for the Arts, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Folsom Street Events.