Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Santa’s Kinky Elf, Simon” by Damian Serbu— Not an Ordinary Christmas Story

Serbu, Damian. “Santa’s Kinky Elf, Simon”, Ninestar Press, 2018.

Not an Ordinary Christmas Story

Amos Lassen

Before you read Damian Serbu’s Christmas novella, “Santa’s Kinky Elf, Simon”, you might want to forget all you know about Christmas. Santa has decided that the time has come to reveal who he really is— a vampire. (He is eternal is he not and he does not seem to age from year to year. Santa always looks like Santa. Thinking about how to reveal this, Santa decides that the best advanced publicity comes from reality stories and he drafts Simon the Elf, a captive former human, to hit Chicago for the holidays and strike up a romance.

Santa knows his importance in the world and therefore wants Simon to document everything, so that people will understand what it is to live as a slave before the big story hits the streets.  give people a taste for life under Santa’s enslavement before the main story hits. Simon, at first, wants no part of this and resists Santa. He knows that any romance he finds will be short Forced to the Second City against his will, Simon at first resists Santa’s orders, knowing a romance would be short and cause some innocent victim to enter Santa’s depraved world.

What Simon did not take into account (and there was no way that he could have) was that he would meet a great and charming guy with a sharp wit and hot and sexy to boot.
Simon is enchanted by Jonah all the while knowing that what was to come would be horrible. Tragedy awaits the both of them. Santa captured and enslaved Simon… the old man is a vampire with a taste for death. He forces Simon to look for love in the gay bars of Chicago and then… (Did you ever notice that if you rearrange the letters in Santa’s name, you get an evil name that we have all been taught to fear?). The idea for the story is clever and Damian Serbu is a fine writer (who knows about vampires) and while I have never personally celebrated Christmas, there is something about the season that is intoxicating. However, here there is quite a different feeling.

I have long been a far of Damian Serbu and I anxiously await his literary output. He manages to give us characters who are “morally ambiguous” and that is exactly what we have in our elf, Simon. I got the feeling that this is the beginning of something that is yet to come from its author. I would love to read an expanded edition of the story and I have the feeling  that it is not far off.

I realize that I have not said a lot about what happens in the plot and that is because I do not want to spoil anyone’s read. I recommend picking up a copy of this for s fun holiday read and remember to think twice before you sit on Santa’s lap this year.

“THE THIRD MURDER”— An Intricate Legal Thriller

“The Third Murder”

An Intricate Legal Thriller

Amos Lassen

Leading attorney Shigemori takes on the defense of murder-robbery suspect Misumi who has served jail time for another murder 30 years ago. The odds for winning the case are stacked against Shigemori. His client freely admits his guilt even though he faces the death penalty if he is convicted. As Shigemori digs deeper into the case, he hears the testimonies of the victim’s family and Misumi himself. Now Shigemori begins to doubt whether his client is the murderer after all.  Directed and written by Hirokazu Kore-eda, this is a complex elusive film that keeps us guessing. It is a legal thriller whose mystery trappings are something of a red herring.

 

We see a brutal killing in which Misumi (Kōji Yakusho) bludgeons his former boss to death, then sets the body aflame. Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama), enters the proceedings late in the process, after Misumi has already confessed to the crime. The trial is expected to be swift, as Misumi murdered two men when he was younger — surely a third murder involving him can’t be coincidence.

Shigemori merely wants to reduce the charges and spare Misumi the looming threat of the death penalty. His case becomes complicated when Misumi’s story continually changes, seemingly without reason. Other evidence from the family of the murdered man leads Shigemori to question Misumi’s culpability, and whether he’s been lied to the whole time.

Director Kore-eda gives us a story that works perfectly well on a surface level as a mystery. He also interrogates the Japanese criminal courts and the ways in which they presume guilt. A key event halfway through the trial should lead to a new trial, with an untainted jury, but the judges and the lawyers jointly agree to continue with the current trial in the interest of a speedy verdict. Despite the chilly, desaturated color scheme, you can almost see a flash of outrage from Kore-eda at their disregard for a man’s life.

 

It’s nearly impossible to watch Still Walkingwithout thinking of the conflicts between the young and old, or the Eastern and Western cultures in Tokyo Story and Late Spring. Kore-eda returns to that mode more than any other but aligning his style with those films ignores vast swaths of his filmography. It doesn’t account for the dark social realism of Nobody Knows, the fantasy of After Life, or the utterly bizarre blow-up doll brought to life in Air Doll. Kore-eda has always been about these contradictions, and The Third Murder plays right into them.

Still, his Ozu-inspired style is somewhat present. Kore-eda’s camera often roves about, even though he occasionally leaves it motionless like the older master. He tends to push in slowly toward his characters, as if he’s an eavesdropper who has to lean forward a bit to intrude on their conversation. It creates a sense of intimacy, as if the audience is there amidst these discussions about a man’s fate, yet also turns us into voyeurs spying on the pain of others.

Fukuyama and Yakusho are both excellent in their legal wranglings. Yakusho has the tougher job, though. His accused murderer is an enigma; those who loved him are absent, and he refuses to reveal much about his life and motivations. In a lesser actor the role might have become too sinister, but Yakusho presents enough humanity for the audience to continually question his guilt. The film is mostly concerned with the ills of Japanese society and it is a moving and chilling legal thriller.

The main issue here is the value of a person’s life, and whether it should be up to the criminal justice system to decide if someone deserves to die. Though the themes are heavy, the narrative is never plodding and Koreeda offers many details to give us context in this metaphysical discussion and the increasingly unknowable nature of the crime doesn’t point the moral compass one way or another.

“The Third Murder” is shot with unusual crispness and a series of intriguing tableaus boasting clarity and layered depth in equal measure. A significant portion of the film takes place in the same small room and two actors and a glass wall offer myriad insights in these tense scenes. This is more than a film, it is an experience.

This is not a whodunit with the killing of a factory owner by already twice-convicted murderer Misumi shown to us in the very first scene, a crime then immediately confessed to by Misumi himself. Instead, his lawyer Shigemori’s aim is to avoid the death penalty as we attempt to unravel Misumi’s motives. A pathological liar, Misumi’s interrogations soon become rather frustrating despite the interesting moral dilemmas they raise, and ultimately, the conclusion doesn’t feel worth the plodding and confusing two hours it takes to get there.

This is the kind of film that will reward revisiting over years. It chronicles injustice, but it is a deeply, deeply moral film. It still examines relationships between parents and children through an undeniably humanistic lens.

Bonus features include Making-Of featurette and Messages from the Cast. The package includes excerpt from an interview with director Hirokazu Kore-eda, Why-We-Selected, and chapter breaks.

THE 20th ANNUAL ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS

THE 20th ANNUAL ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS

returns to theaters across North America and will have its US theatrical premiere at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on December 14th, and at the Quad Cinema in New York on December 28th (many other cities will follow). Since 1998, THE ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS has been selecting the best in animated short films from around the world and has been presenting new and innovative short films to appreciative audiences at animation studios, schools and, since 2015, theaters in the US and other countries. Over the years, 38 of the films showcased in THE ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS went on to receive Academy Award® nominations, with 11 films winning the Oscar®.
THE 20th ANNUAL ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOW will present 15 thought-provoking, poignant, and very funny animated shorts from around the world. In a year when the best and worst of human nature has been on constant display, the works in this year’s show remind us of both the universality of shared ideals, as well as the diverse challenges we face. “Animation is such a flexible and open-ended medium that it lends itself to exploring the innumerable aspects of what it means to be human,” says founder and curator Ron Diamond. “And this year’s program, as much as any of our past presentations, really illuminates human strengths and foibles, and the bonds that unite us across cultures and generations.” THE 20th ANNUAL ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOW represents the work of artists from six countries and includes six student films. Funny, moving, engaging, and thought-provoking, THE ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS not only has something for everyone, but is a remarkable and insightful microcosm of our world.
The show has a running time of 98 minutes and includes 15 films, four of which have qualified for Academy Award® consideration *.

The Green Bird * – Maximilien Bougeois, Quentin Dubois, Marine Goalard, Irina Nguyen, Pierre Perveyrie, FranceOne Small Step * – Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas, U.S.Grands Canons – Alain Biet, FranceBarry – Anchi Shen, U.S.Super Girl – Nancy Kangas, Josh Kun, U.S.Love Me, Fear Me – Veronica Solomon, GermanyBusiness Meeting – Guy Charnaux, BrazilFlower Found! – Jorn Leeuwerink, The NetherlandsBullets – Nancy Kangas, Josh Kun, U.S.A Table Game – Nicolás Petelski, SpainCarlotta’s Face – Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld, GermanyAge of Sail * – John Kahrs, U.S.Polaris – Hikari Toriumi, U.S.My Moon – Eusong Lee, U.S.Weekends * – Trevor Jimenez, U.S.

The power of family ties, and specifically the enduring connection between parents and children, are sensitively evoked in Hikari Toriumi’s deeply affecting “Polaris,” about a young polar bear leaving home for the first time. “One Small Step,” Bobby Pontillas and Andrew Chesworth’s inspiring story of a Chinese-American girl’s dream of being an astronaut, centers on her evolving relationship with her father. The beautifully designed “Weekends,” by Trevor Jimenez, explores the complex emotional landscape of a young boy and his recently divorced parents, as he shuttles between their very different homes and lives.

The darker side of relationships is forcefully explored in Veronica Solomon’s “Love Me, Fear Me,” a tour de force of claymation that uses dance to delve into the lengths people go to to deceive each other and try to pass for something they’re not. Eusong Lee’s “My Moon” takes a more cosmic and lighthearted approach to a troubled relationship, depicting a celestial love triangle played out by the sun, the moon, and the earth.“Carlotta’s Face,” by Valentin Riedl and Frédéric Schuld, illuminates a different kind of relationship dysfunction in its sensitive portrayal of a woman who suffers from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces, and her salvation through art.

Among the other program highlights are the very funny computer animation “The Green Bird,” winner of a 2018 Gold Student Academy Award® International Animation, which harks back to classic cartoons of the mid-20th century. Oscar-winning director John Kahrs’ “Age of Sail,” the latest in Google’s series of Spotlight Stories, chronicles the adventures of an old sailor who rescues a teenaged girl after she falls overboard. Alain Biet’s jaw-dropping “Grands Canons” is a dizzying symphonic celebration of everyday objects that uses finely detailed drawings created by the filmmaker. And two very short films, “Supergirl” and “Bullets,” take their inspiration from poems composed by surprisingly eloquent preschoolers.

“New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay” — The Title Says It All

Kunkel, Caitlin, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, Carrie Wittmer. “New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay” , Plume, 2018.

The Title Says It All

Amos Lassen

If you like erotica this is the book for you and if you are a feminist who likes erotica, then this is definitely the book for you. If you do not know the difference between feminist erotica and just erotica, you will find out here, but it does have something to do with equal pay and a gender-balanced Congress. What we have here is satire and it touches all the things that turn feminists on and that includes a retelling of Adam and Eve are stories of online dating. The stories are very hot and worth every feminist penny. What is here will amuse you and ignite your wildest fantasies. This takes the worn-out tropes of erotica and porn and turns them on their heads. The book came out of a conversation between friends joking about a perfect feminist world.  
The stories add fun and silliness to feminism. The collection is not literature, but it is fun. It’s a very short read – it only takes an hour or two at most to read but it is uplifting. “Reading this won’t change the world, but it will improve your mood and make you feel seen, make you feel connected to other women around the world, so that when you get to the back of the book with a list of resources and what you can do to make a change, you feel recharged and ready to go!” 

“THE CHRYSALIS”— Bonding

“The Chrysalis”

Bonding

Amos Lassen

Sisters Liza (Maggie Wetzel) and Megan (Nicole Paige Chaffin) are planning to visit their parents in Canada and to use the same time as a period of bonding before Liza moves to L.A. and Megan goes off to school. They have a flat tire in the snowy middle of nowhere. As if that is not enough, there is a snowstorm brewing. The girls have little choice but to go to a seemingly abandoned warehouse building where they meet Adam (Brian Dole), who is facing the same situation that they are. After a short altercation Adam eventually wins their trust and the three party the night away. Megan falls for Adam. The next morning Megan makes a few investigations and eventually finds a tied-up guy (Will Keith) in the trash container outside who claims to be Adam. Of course we want to know who he is and why is he tied up. Then there is the question of who is Adam?

Here is a film that defines the word suspense. We sense it from the first frame along with tension created by the atmosphere. At just three minutes in, two stranded people have to find shelter from an impending snowstorm. Writer/director Matt Kravitsky knows what he is doing in setting up the atmosphere that is to pervade every moment that we see. The camera suddenly focuses on three bare wood shoots sticking out of the snow as a walker’s boot steps on two of them, leaving one.  Could this be an omen? A portent? There are other hints and soon we are looking for other signs yet remaining engrossed in what we see on the screen. We are soon rivetted to the screen looking carefully at camera angles, cuts and transitions.

From the beginning we feel something is not right. Two sisters are driving through an isolated region with the promise of bad weather. They hear on the car radio that there is a missing person and the girls chatter about sex.

We know something is due to happen but have no idea what and when. There is real tension here and it increases when the girls meet Adam who is mysterious, yet we do not know yet if he is to be feared. In fact, we do not know who is to fear who and the twists and turns keep us guessing. The two girls and Adam get mixed in a love triangle that is filled with jealousy, sex, secrets, and violence, and no one comes out the same way they came in. And when it is over, we realize that the ending is thoughtful and suitably unsettling

I love the concentration on the build-up suspense coming together with character development, as well as tension and atmosphere making the ending(s) even more of surprises. The hand of the director is everywhere but then again it is not. We know there is a director and that this is his baby. We have all been told over the years that the sign of a good director is one whose presence is not felt. Because of that I have no idea of how to explain the director’s skill in this film and as good as everything here is, this is HIS film.

“MEETING MACGUFFIN”— After Humanity

“Meeting MacGuffin”

After Humanity

Amos Lassen

Director CatYA Plate’s “Meeting MacGuffin” is set after humanity has literally fallen apart. Some of the survivors, decide to bring humanity back in order to return balance to the world.

We meet a new breed of scientists, the Clothespin Freaks, who have been attempting to reassemble human fragments and create an alternate form of humanity. They are guided by Lost and Found, an animated sign and they travel with the nearly-finished new humans called Homeys, through underground caverns to complete their reconstruction and meet Gormal MacGuffin, a wise, blue-eyed groundhog climatologist with expertise in water renewal. He is to prepare the Homeys for a mission to restore balance to Earth now that it has been decimated.

In the film, everything looks strange and eerie and that includes the grotesque looking characters in this animated ecological thriller. There is also a new kind of animation here that allows for a three-dimensional world to be presented. Catya Plate is a talented animator who has created her world in this film from scratch. This is the second film in a series (I did not see the first) and it begins with a brief recap of what happened in the previous film. Then we are pulled into the  apocalyptic new world order where humans are now extinct and all that remains of what once was are scattered bones and brains. The Clothespin Freaks are the only survivors. They are scientists who venture outside to collect as many human remains as they can get their hands on. Their want to repopulate the earth with humans they have created and called Homey’s.

Once they have recreated a small group of ten, the Clothespin Freaks travel with the Homeys to an underground laboratory called the Lost and Found Bureau. Here they embark on a surreal adventure in order to finish their experiments. They go to skin experts, eye experts, and clothing experts and they go to MacGuffin, a groundhog with a Ph.D. who is a climate expert and who has been preparing for the destruction of the earth for many, many years. MacGuffin is not sure about the idea of repopulating the earth. He questions why we should give people a second chance when it was these very humans who helped to destroy the world in the first place.

The ten-minute film is a visual feast and I watched it five times because there is so much there. It is also disturbing even with the ideas that it presents about repopulation. Granted, the idea for the story is very strange but it is original and well done. A beautiful music score holds everything together. I became so engrossed that I did not want to take my eyes off of the screen. It is bizarre and charming at the same time and gives us quite a wakeup call.

“Lana and Lilly Wachowski” by Cael Keegan— Sensing Transgender

Keegan, Cael M. “Lana and Lilly Wachowski”, University of Illinois Press, 2018.

Sensing Transgender

Amos Lassen

Lana and Lilly Wachowski have redefined the technically and topically possible while joyfully defying audience expectations. They make and respond to visionary films (“The Matrix” trilogy and “Cloud Atlas”) have made them the world’s most influential transgender media producers, and their coming out retroactively put trans aesthetics at the very center of popular American culture.

Cáel M. Keegan views the Wachowskis’ films as an approach to trans experience that maps a transgender journey and the promise we might learn “to sense beyond the limits of the given world.” Keegan reveals how the filmmakers take up the relationship between identity and coding, inheritance and belonging, and how transgender becoming connects to a utopian vision of a post-racial order. Along the way, he theorizes a trans* aesthetic that explores cinema to create new social worlds, new temporalities, and new sensory inputs and outputs. What we read here demonstrates how their embodied transgender experience is the central component of their aesthetic vision, and “how transgender experience has become paradigmatic of visual semiotic practices in the digital media environment.”

Keegan gives us clear and close readings of the entire Wachowski filmography, and also maps generative points of overlap and intersection between cinema studies and trans studies. This is the first book to consider the transgender content of the Wachowskis’ cinema. Their  trans cinema of the Wachowskis is not just disruptive and wildly imaginative, although it is definitely that. It also represents an expansion of the popular imagination and a very different sense of life in and beyond. Keegan gives a masterful account of the Wachowskis’ world.

This is both a great cinema study and a look at transgender I’ve not encountered before. This is a perfect theoretical and analytical resource for readers who enjoy cinema and gender studies. This book draws on phenomenology and heuristics in making its case for narratology and notes prominent voices from the research field.
Keegan explores individual examples of films and provides multiples scenes and elements in making the case for analysis.  His work is thoughtful, well-developed, and wonderful for building conversation about society and art.

“The Leper Messiah” by Rob M. Levinson— Outcast, Traitor, Divine

Levinson, Rob M. “The Leper Messiah”, Tellwell Talent, 2018.

Outcast, Traitor, Divine

Amos Lassen

There are many characters in the Hebrew Bible that are difficult to understand and David, King of Israel tops that list. He is also one of the most mysterious characters in literature. “The Leper Messiah” follows David and takes us into the ancient world where we find the David code. Many of us have no idea why David is so mystifying and while his name is mentioned many times in the bible, we realize how little we really know about him. Writer Rob Levinson shares his passion for David in this fictional biography.

 

We read David’s story from his birth, childhood, his life as a shepherd, his adventures to his becoming and serving as King of Israel. His journey was very dark and twisted at times and his life lets us see the harsh living conditions, the dangers of travelling, and the hard lives of the poor people living with leprosy. We experience what David experienced including desert sand storms and so much more.

The book’s short description says this is a dark look and so it is. This is the story of David, the David of the David and Goliath story. He becomes one of the most important figures in Jewish history and religion. We meet David as a baby, as a boy, as a shepherd, as a man and as a king.

The story is is inspiring but dark with major plots and evil doings. The book begins with David’s childhood and see that his several older brothers gained their fathers respect, but David had a rough time living up to this. He’s kind of an underdog. We go on adventures with David as he learns about the world and accomplishes amazing things even from a young age. This is an epic story that is filled with adventure, mysticism, and danger and the focus is always on David. people in David’s life, through the deadly or strange encounters his mother, brother, and friends experience that shape how they see the future king. We see David gain confidence and knowledge that will protect his rule.

The story gives a different look at his destiny and much of it comes from the imagination of the writer. It is, however, based on the bible.  This is a well-crafted story that also includes the historic traditional.  Levison uses truth and biblical reference and conjecture and imagination combined with mysticism, raw reality and lineage/family and these all add add to the tension of the story.

David was an outcast, even within his own family. Something has always seemed off about the boy, causing most people to avoid and /or ostracize him and even fear him. David felt that he was destined for something more than a shepherd’s life and would do whatever it took to prove himself right.

While the book is basically centered on David and his childhood (his life before he became king), he is not the only important character. Scorpion and Arlemay have stories were even more captivating than David’s. These characters emphasized the themes brought up by David’s main story, especially the need of society to notice outcasts.

I did have problems with some of what I learned from history as opposed to what is presented here so it important to realize that this is fiction. Some of this is historically inaccurate and I feel better now that I have said that. Remember that this is fantasy.

“ROBIN WILLIAMS: COMIC GENIUS”— Hours with Williams

“Robin Williams: Comic Genius”

Hours with Williams

Amos Lassen

Robin Williams was truly an out-of-this-world talent and now all his most memorable stand-up and television performances are together in one collection, “Robin Williams: Comic Genius” with 12 DVDs and over 60 performances.

This is an Ultimate, One-of-a-Kind Compendium Spanning 40 Years on TV, Including All Five HBO Stand-Up Specials Together for the Very First Time, Never-Before-Released Performances and Backstage Footage, Talk Show and Late Night Appearances, Rare Archival Clips, Brand New Interviews Featuring Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Martin Short, Pam Dawber, Lewis Black, and Zak Williams, a Collectible Memory Book Featuring Archival Photos, Robin’s Tour Notes, and More!

 From his breakout role in ABC’s Mork & Mindy to his Academy Award®-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Williams displayed an inimitable artistry that made him beloved by millions. 

Available exclusively at RobinWilliams.com beginning September 25th, this definitive collection of Williams’ comedy highlights arrives as interest in his life and career increases in the wake of HBO’s critically acclaimed documentary, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind from Emmy® Award-winning director Marina Zenovich and Oscar-winning producer Alex Gibney, and Dave Itzkoff’s biography Robin, a New York Times best-seller. The set includes:

All five HBO stand-up specials together for the very first time, including Off the Wall (1978), An Evening with Robin Williams (1983), An Evening at the MET (1986), Live on Broadway (2002) and Weapons of Self Destruction (2009)

  • Never-before-released concert specials, including Robin’s full MGM Grand Garden stand-up from 2007 and the Montreal stop on his last tour, a conversation on stage between Williams and comedian David Steinberg
  • Memorable talk show and late night TV appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Graham Norton Show, Saturday Night Live and more
  • Rare, never-before-seen clips including early stand-up, raw footage from HBO’s promo shoots, a hilarious toast to Richard Pryor by Robin as Mrs. Doubtfire, and more
  • Brand new interviews with close friends and family including Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Eric Idle, David Steinberg, Lewis Black and Zak Williams
  • 11 hilarious episodes of Mork & Mindy, including the two-part pilot!
  • James Lipton’s Emmy® Award-nominated 90-minute interview with Robin on Inside the Actors Studio, plus deleted scenes
  • A comprehensive collection of Robin’s USO shows around the world
  • Original and newly created bonus features including behind-the-scenes footage, local highlights from tour stops, promos and more. Featurettes include: The Early Years, San Francisco: Where It All Started, Comic Genius, and TV’s Best Guest
  • Critically acclaimed 2018 HBO documentary, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind from Emmy® Award-winning director Marina Zenovich and Oscar-winning producer Alex Gibney.
  • “Robin Williams: Uncensored”, a collectible 24-page, full-color memory book featuring rare, archival photos from award-winning photographer Arthur Grace, reminiscences from friends and colleagues, Robin’s personal tour notes and more.

Uncensored, electric, intense and unfailingly hilarious, Williams made it his life’s work to make people laugh–whether he was holding forth on culture, politics, the human body or drugs–with razor-sharp wit and insight. As his long-time friend Billy Crystal said, “In the 40 odd years he was in front of us, especially on television, he never let you down. He was always funny, he always did something new.” And, in unforgettable ways, ROBIN WILLIAMS: COMIC GENIUS reveals and celebrates the wide range of his incredible talents like never before.

CHANEL & THE CIRCUS ANNOUNCE NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR “BULLETS” PREMIERING ON REVRY

CHANEL & THE CIRCUS ANNOUNCE NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR “BULLETS” PREMIERING ON REVRY NOVEMBER 2ND, WORLDWIDE NOVEMBER 16TH
Plus PERFORMING AT LA’s AKBAR ON NOVEMBER 1ST AND DECEMBER 6th and SOFAR SOUNDS ON DECEMBER 7TH


Oct. 30, 2018 – Global LGBTQ streaming network, Revry is thrilled to announce the premiere of Chanel & the Circus’s new music video release “Bullets” on November 2nd. Come run away with Chanel & the Circus – complete with acrobats, burlesque, drag, and anyone else who wants to dance to their soundtrack.
Chanel & the Circus, Chanel self-released her album “Eat Your Heart Out” on vinyl, which sold out at Amoeba Music in Hollywood and was a local favorite at Jacaranda in Liverpool. Following the album release, she went on a month long tour across England, and finished in LA playing the Peppermint Club for Pride Fest. Chanel identifies as gender fluid and pansexual, and the 10 songs on the album follow her journey through sexuality and self-discovery, with influences from Lady Gaga, Robyn, Grouplove, and Amanda Palmer.
The latest single “Bullets” is the fifth music video off the album – all self-directed, edited, and produced by Chanel. Her sister, Grace Samson, filmed the video on 35mm film, which Chanel then projected on her body in their garage after painstakingly scanning and cutting the filmstrips. “Bullets” is about finding the middle ground between performance life and relationships – something she’s still learning how to navigate, between her vibrant identity and frustrating health issues. But life is always clearer onstage. As the projection moves over her white painted body, we see what she has done the past year and the loss of her over-seas relationship. The video will be exclusively premiered on Revry before its public release in mid-November.

Chanel was raised in Los Angeles by a family of filmmakers, but always stood out for her keenness on songwriting and performing. At 18, she left Los Angeles to attend the Liverpool Institute for Performing arts, headed by Sir Paul McCartney. During her time there, she explored her artistry by performing in several bands, playing more than 100 gigs, and experimenting with new art forms. One of these new art forms was a burlesque class, which jumpstarted her journey of sexuality and collaboration – this would quickly turn into The Secret Circus.
Chanel’s performance collective, The Secret Circus, featured local musicians, dancers, drag queens, and more, and quickly spread its roots throughout the U.K. arts scene. Thanks to her time cultivating this performance series, Chanel has toured across England and Scotland, including the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, singing her songs about periods and gender fluidity. After she finished school, she moved to London to pursue music but was kicked out by the British government (we’d like to say her art was just too rebellious but it was a visa situation), and she landed back in La La Land.
Upon relocating to LA, Chanel experienced serious health traumas which quickly forced her into a new perspective in her writing and performances. However, this setback didn’t stop her. Instead, she decided to use her struggle to encourage people to dance out their problems at her shows. In the past year, Chanel has snagged a monthly residency at Akbar with her new circus, and has performed all over the city, from The Study Hollywood to Pershing Square with Proud Festival.
Chanel & the Circus is honest and fueled by their constantly evolving community. Join the circus, you’re very welcome.
https://www.chanelandthecircus.com/