Category Archives: Uncategorized


“Fun AF” – Pride Magazine

“SXSW…but…queer” – Flaunt Magazine

“Star studded event …taking over West Hollywood” – Billboard Magazine

Los Angeles, June 2, 2019 – Premiere queer global streaming network Revry presents QueerX, the 4th annual queer music, film, and industry festival sponsored by Lexus. The festival concludes Sunday June 2nd with the star-studded Revry Visibility Awards and closing night party hosted by the Tourist Office of Spain honoring the bold efforts of an influencer, actor and sports legend: Nikita Dragun (Dragun Beauty), Nik Dodani (Atypical) and three-time WNBA champion Sue Bird. The evening will be transformed by The Tourist Office of Spain with Spanish delicacies and performances of Flemenco, a traditional Basque acrobatic Aurresku, as well as 2019 island of Gran Canaria Drag Queen winner Drag Chuchi. The evening continues with award-winning DJ Ray Rhodes.

This year QueerX is happy to announce two extraordinary International prizes. The screening competition Audience Winner will receive one ticket for travel, accommodations and entry into Rio Web Fest in beautiful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Tourist Office of Spain will raffle a trip for two to Barcelona in Iberia Airlines with a stay at the Fairmont Hotel in BCN, a Tourist Bus city pass and a private guided tour.

Sunday, June 2nd
6pm: Press Check In (please be on time, as top talent will walk at 6:30pm)
6:30pm-7:30pm: VIP Red Carpet (see talent below)
7:30-8pm: Open Carpet (press can cover if they want)
8:30pm-12am: Visibility Awards and Gala Party (*Press are Invited to attend Gala and Awards)

The London West Hollywood
1020 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
(*Valet Parking will be Validated for Press)

Dragun (Dragun Beauty – CEO)
Nik Dodani (Atypical
– Actor/Activist) Honoree
Lundy-Paine (Atypical –
Actor) Presenter
Loey Lane (Influencer)
Gallo (Ponyboi –
David Jones (The Mayor –
Key (GodComplx –
Crute (Booksmart –
Cumin (Barbelle-
Knox (Barbelle-
Mekahel (Putting On-
Cederberg (Putting On -Director)
Estes (To Be Me –
Dash (To Be Me –
Rising (Alabama Blonde
Pelliccione (Revry/QueerX CEO, Co-Founder)
J. Daniels (Revry/QueerX COO, Co-Founder)
J. Rodriguez (Revry/QueerX CBO, Co-Founder
McGhee (Revry/QueerX CPO, Co-Founder)
Heimann (Kappa Force –
Welever (Kappa Force –
Clacken Joseph (Ponyboi –
Laffey (Ponyboi –
Graham (Ponyboi –
Avila (The Secrets of the Bride –
Kiko (The Secrets of the Bride –
Felipe Felicio (The Secrets of the Bride –
Perkowski (Lawyer)
Horne (Actor)

“Queer X Design: 50 Years of Signs, Symbols, Banners, Logos, and Graphic Art of LGBTQ” by Andy Campbell— An Illustrated History

Campbell, Andy. “Queer X Design: 50 Years of Signs, Symbols, Banners, Logos, and Graphic Art of LGBTQ”, Black Dog & Leventhal, 2017.

An Illustrated History

Amos Lassen

Andy Campbell’s “Queer X Design” is the first illustrated history of the iconic designs, symbols, and graphic art that represent more than 5 decades of LGBTQ pride and activism–from the evolution of Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag to the NYC Pride typeface launched in 2017 and beyond.

This is one of those fun books that can be looked at again and again. It is organized by decade from the days of pre-liberation through the seventies to and through the millennium. It is both uplifting and inspiring as well as a colorful celebration of the symbols that have been with us along the way. Liberation is a movement that constantly evolves and while we have made great strides there is still a lot to do.

 Included in the collection are Gilbert Baker’s original rainbow flag, ACT-UP’s Silence = Death poster, the AIDS quilt, and Keith Haring’s “Heritage of Pride” logo, as well as the original Lavender Menace t-shirt design, logos such as “The Pleasure Chest,”. There are protest buttons such as “Anita Bryant Sucks Oranges,” and sidebars throughout will cover important visual grouping such as a “Lexicon of Pride Flags,” that explains the now more than flags that represent segments of the community. Of course, the  pink triangle is here as well.

“Spring Sonnets” by Don Yorty— Ninety Sonnets

Yorty, Don. “Spring Sonnets”, Indolent Books, 2019.

Ninety Sonnets

Amos Lassen

I am amazed that the 90 sonnets that are collected here were selected from 180 sonnets that poet Don Yorty wrote between the spring of 2003 and the spring of 2009. He is actually still writing them. For those of you who do not remember here is the definition of sonnet as it appears in the Oxford English dictionary: “A poem of fourteen lines using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes, in English typically having ten syllables per line.” This is not the rigid definition I remember learning in high school but it allows for several interpretations of what can be called a sonnet.

Yorty uses this traditional poetic form as a container for contemporary writing. He writes of topics that do not fulfill the idea of a sonnet being a love poem as it was with William Shakespeare. He employs wit, honesty, sass and reflection in his sonnets and he writes about many different topics. These include writing with wit, honesty, a sharp eye and a touch of sass about the natural world; love, sex, and marriage; family and friendship; aging and mortality; language, teaching, and poetry itself. Unlike many sonnets, these are not meant just for the person to who the sonnet is written but for anyone who would like to read it. We thus become a part of a community with others who share common interests we learn about via Yorty’s sonnets. Sonnets were once considered to be somewhat lofty poems that were personal odes to love yet here, for example, we have sonnet XXXI about losing and finding a phone; “Today for the first time in my whole life, I can’t find the phone. Where did I put it?” This is quite a distance from “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”.

These sonnets contain the minutia of Yorty’s life and cover his living in New York City, rural Pennsylvania where he was born and he shares his connection to both family and the land, his connection to family and the land, teaching English to non-English speakers, and his beloved cat, Cachito, who lived with his father until his father died. Yorty has the ability to write a sonnet about whatever he chooses. Perhaps this is what attracts me to his poems so much. “It  is absurd not to love till the end. In my pen when the ink runs out, are my thoughts somehow diminished?”

Through his poems, we enter his world and get “detailed glimpses and glimmers through his eyes, documentation and wisdom from daily existence”. I found a great deal of emotion in the sonnets” and while it is not always overt, we sense it between the lines even when writing about snakes or spiders.

I believe that everyone who reads and enjoys these sonnets will find at least one that speaks to him directly even though he does not personally know the poet.

“The Drama of Celebrity” by Sharon Marcus— How Celebrity Works

Marcus, Sharon. “The Drama of Celebrity”,  Princeton University Press, 2019.

How Celebrity Works

Amos Lassen

America is a nation that seems to be obsessed with celebrity and I have often wondered why so many people (myself included) care so much about celebrities. I also wonder who decides who gets to be a star, if there are privileges and pleasures that come with being a fan and whether celebrities ever deserve the outsized attention they receive?

Evidently Sharon Marcus had the same question so she researched these issues and then wrote “The Drama of Celebrity” in which she challenges everything you thought you knew about our obsession with fame. We learn here that “icons are not merely famous for being famous; the media alone cannot make or break stars; fans are not simply passive dupes.” Journalists, the public, and celebrities themselves all compete, to shape the stories we tell about celebrities and fans. We see that the  result is an unpredictable high-stakes drama.

There is a history of celebrity culture and Marcus provides it for us after having researched scrapbooks, personal diaries, and vintage fan mail, Marcus traces celebrity culture back to its nineteenth-century roots. People always found themselves captivated by celebrity chefs, bad-boy poets, entertainers and actors and the most innovative media and technologies include the popular press, commercial photography, and forms of travel. One simply must learn how to use them in order to stay in the public eye. Through using Sarah Bernhardt as an example we see that she was a master of self-promotion. Many celebrities have been in the limelight, but Bernhardt stands center stage throughout this fascinating study. Marcus demonstrates how Bernhardt created the mold for celebrity culture today.

“Number One Chinese Restaurant: A Novel” by Lillian Li— Multi-generational Lives and Loves

Li, Lillian. “Number One Chinese Restaurant: A Novel”, Picador Paperback, 2019.

Multi-generational Lives and Loves

Amos Lassen

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is a microcosm of society and not just a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that is a part of fast-paced restaurant life. 

Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children. 

We go beyond restaurant life and read an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.

We follow the owners and staff of The Beijing Duck House before and after a devastating fire.  And as we do, we learn a great deal about Chinese culture (from familial obligation to amending names with an Ah- prefix, to the immigration process to America, to knowing what region someone is from by their accent and forming opinions of them based on that. (Although I suppose we do that in the US, too – that last one might be universal.)

Jimmy is the current owner of the Duck House with Johnny out of the country for the first part of the book. The two brothers are opposites in most ways, with Jimmy being the back-of-house hardliner and Johnny being a diplomat. We meet their strong-willed mother, Feng, and her cousin, “Uncle” Pang, who has mysterious connections and can get things done but isn’t exactly benevolent about it. The last member of the immediate family is Annie, Johnny’s daughter. Two main plotlines revolve around each other and come together in places. Nan and Ah-Jack have both been working at the Duck House for thirty years and have married other people but have always adored each other. As the restaurant enters crisis, so do their personal lives, and things get messy. We have themes that are universal across cultures, especially dealing with immigrant experiences.

“DOUBLE FACE”— Changing Perception


Changing Perception

Amos Lassen

When wealthy businessman John Alexander’s (Klaus Kinski’s unfaithful wife Helen (Margaret Lee) dies in a car crash, it initially looks like a freak accident. However, evidence appears suggesting that the car was tampered with prior to the crash. John’s entire perception of reality is thrown into doubt when he discovers a recently-shot pornographic movie which appears to feature Helen suggesting that she is in fact alive and playing an elaborate mind game on him…

The film is psychological, psychedelic, and at times just plain psychotic and totally engaging and enjoyable. It is a densely-plotted, visually-stunning giallo that evokes much of the same ambience of paranoia and decadence. The film was directed by Riccardo Freda (as Robert Hampton) and written by Lucio Fulci. 

Upper class industrialist John Alexander  has a most unusual but initially happy marriage to Helen  who carries on an apparent affair with Liz (Annabella Incontrera) and professes not to care about her husband’s own dalliances with his secretary as long as they keep up appearances and give each other breathing room. But then someone tampers with Helen’s car, which sends her careening to a fiery and seemingly fatal end. Upon returning to London, he finds the pretty, enigmatic Christine  crashing at his place and is soon led by her into the swinging Soho scene where an evening of nightclubbing and psychedelic lighting leads to a stag film screening where one of the participants, thanks to a telltale ring, seems to be Helen herself. John tries to get to the bottom of the mystery and discover the truth about his wife whose fate remains very much up in the air.

“Double Face” is a wonderful time capsule that manages to mix in Freda’s Gothic horror . The new 2K transfer from the original camera negative is a treat for anyone familiar with this film’s underwhelming past history on home video; the baroque interior scenes in particular have a richness and attention to detail that was impossible to appreciate before.


  Brand new 2K restoration of the full-length Italian version of the film from the original 35mm camera negative

  High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

  Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio

  Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits

  Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack

  Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack

  New audio commentary by author and critic Tim Lucas

  New video interview with composer Nora Orlandi

  The Many Faces of Nora Orlandi, a new appreciation of the varied career of the film s composer by musician and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon

  The Terrifying Dr. Freda, a new video essay on Riccardo Freda s gialli by author and critic Amy Simmons

  Extensive image gallery from the collection of Christian Ostermeier, including the original German pressbook and lobby cards, and the complete Italian cineromanzo adaptation

  Original Italian and English theatrical trailers

  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell

Global Streaming Network Revry presents QueerX

Premiere queer global streaming network Revry presents QueerX, the 4th annual queer music, film, and industry festival May 31st – June 2nd in West Hollywood, California, sponsored by Lexus. From Vogue competitions to Flamenco performances, international screenings to a Sex & Body Positivity panel, Powerhouse Industry Pitchfests to the star-studded Revry Visibility Awards, QueerX is poised as the queer SXSW, offering something thrilling for every Queer enthusiast.

The festival kicks off Friday night with an exclusive industry party and concert at the iconic Whisky A Go Go headlined by Billboard’s Artist of the Month, Brooke Candy with her RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni backup dancers Laganja Estranja and Gia Gunn, along with Pink Fly, Jordy and Davy Boi and a Billboard’s top 10 LGBTQ surprise artist making their first LA concert appearance. The eve finishes fabulously with Maurice the Divo leading an epic Vogue battle and ball for all to join in!

QueerX continues Saturday and Sunday at The London West Hollywood with its international Competition Screenings and the Revry Summer Preview including Laura Linney’s World Premiere of Sink Sank Sunk and GLAAD “Rising Star Grant” recipient River Gallo’s PonyBoi.

Saturday night’s Centerpiece Screening is 2x Academy Award winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s YouTube Original State of Pride starring Raymond Braun who will be honored with a Revry Visibility Award by presenters Johnny Sibilly (Pose) and Blossom Brown, and then moderate a femme-tastic panel with the film’s female producing team. The evening ignites with lit afterparty at the brand new Rocco’s West Hollywood with performances by Jared Gelman and Madison Rose.

The weekend is peppered with dynamic Panels like “The Power of Body and Sex Positivity” with Playboy’s Senior Editor Shane Michael Singh, Dr. Chris Donaghue (Loveline), Tre’vell Anderson (Out Magazine Editor), Adrienne Williams (MS.RPRSNTD) and Youtuber Stevie Boebi. Or if the entertainment industry is your jam, “The Business of Inclusive Storytelling” with the likes of showrunner Ben Cory Jones (BET’s Boomerang) and Deniese Davis (HBO’s Insecure, Issa Rae Productions) or “Pioneering A Queer Music Movement” with executives from BMG, Arista, APA and artists Jordy and Davy Boi.

Saturday and Sunday, QueerX also hosts its annual Powerhouse Industry Pitchfest, giving creators the rare opportunity to pitch projects one-on-one to top producers and production companies including IFC, SoulPancake, Powderkeg Media, Management360, Brian Graden Media and more.


The festival concludes with the star-studded Revry Visibility Awards and closing night party hosted by the Tourist Office of Spain honoring the bold efforts of an influencer, actor and sports legend: Nikita Dragun (Dragun Beauty), Nik Dodani (Atypical) and WNBA athlete Sue Bird. The evening will be transformed by The Tourist Office of Spain with Spanish delicacies and performances of Flemenco, a tradional Basque acrobatic Aurresku, as well as 2019 island of Gran Canaria Drag Queen winner Drag Chuchi. The evening continues with an epic performance by Drag Race All Stars Aja and a set with award-winning DJ Ray Rhodes.

This year QueerX is happy to announce two extraordinary International prizes. The screening competition Audience Winner will receive one ticket for travel, accommodations and entry into Rio Web Fest in beautiful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Tourist Office of Spain will award a trip to Barcelona in Iberia Airlines with a stay at the Fairmont Hotel in BCN, a Tourist Bus city pass and a private guided tour.

QueerX’s Grand Sponsor is Lexus. Premiere Sponsors include the Tourist Office of Spain and Hemp In It by Pride Global Labs. Signature Sponsors include Five Husbands Vodka, Madam Pattirini, Dragun Beauty, Sharpe Suiting, Vresh, Selffee, Kingdom Clothing, Lowell Herb Co and Andrew Christian, Media Partners include Playboy, LA Confidential Magazine, LA Weekly, Out Magazine & The Advocate Magazine, Subvrt Magazine, Getty Images, The Blunt Post, The Tenth Magazine, Los Angeles Blade and The Fight Magazine. QueerX is proud to have GLAAD as its Community Partner.

QueerX is the intersection of music, film and industry. Inclusive of all identities, the festival pushes boundaries the same way our community does by fostering connection and empowering queer voices. Originally founded as Out Web Fest in 2016, QueerX is a one-of-a-kind festival created by and for the global queer community.

Revry is the first queer global streaming network, available in over 50 million homes in over 100 countries, with a uniquely curated selection of LGBTQ+ film, series, and originals along with the world’s largest queer libraries of groundbreaking podcasts, albums and music videos. Revry is available worldwide. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Revry is led by an inclusive team of queer, multi-ethnic and allied partners who bring decades of experience in the fields of tech, digital media, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @REVRYTV. Go Online to:

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 241 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

“Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide” by Tony Horwitz— On the Trail of America’s Greatest Landscape Architect

Horwitz, Tony. “Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide”, Penguin Press, 2019.

On the Trail of America’s Greatest Landscape Architect

Amos Lassen

In the 1850s, the young Frederick Law Olmsted was adrift. He was a restless farmer and dreamer in search of a mission that he found it during an extraordinary journey as an undercover correspondent in the South for the up-and-coming New York Times.
Olmsted was a  Connecticut Yankee with the pen name “Yeoman” and to whom the South was alien, often hostile territory. Nonetheless, he traveled it for 14 months, by horseback, steamboat, and stagecoach looking for dialogue and common ground. His dispatches about the lives and beliefs of Southerners were revelatory for readers of his day, and his remarkable journey  also reshaped the American landscape, as he sought to reform his own society by creating democratic spaces for all. The result was Central Park and Olmsted’s career as America’s first and foremost landscape architect.

Tony Horwitz rediscovers Yeoman Olmsted in the discord and polarization of our own time. He looks for an answer to “Is America still one country?” As he searches for  answers, he follows Olmsted’s tracks and often his mode of transport (including muleback): through Appalachia, down the Mississippi River, into bayou Louisiana, and across Texas to the contested Mexican borderland. on far off beaten paths. Horwitz “uncovers bracing vestiges and strange new mutations of the Cotton Kingdom.” His journey takes him through an outsized American landscape.

Horwitz is a fun guide, self-deprecating, smart, and adventurous. It is fascinating to see through him that two of the most politically divisive eras in the US occurred prior to the Presidential elections of 1860 and 2016. In each of these timeframes, the country was more or less divided (North versus South and Red versus Blue, respectively) and thought the other half was wrong. 

This is what  drives the Horwitz’s narrative as he follows the path Fred Olmstead took in the 1850s and describes his encounters with others below the Mason Dixon line. He meets a very colorful cast of characters and helps to understand the differences and common threads among all Americans. 

Horwitz combines historical text with historical narrative nonfiction giving us a memoir of one man’s present day journey into the South. Horwitz is a seasoned guide. He is inquisitive, open-minded, and prefers observation over judgment and he brings humor, curiosity, and care to the characters he meets. This is unique reportage from a region that tells us a whole lot more about the country than the country wants to admit to. We get views of the South unlike any others along with “an enduring American spirit of generosity, and commonweal, and curiosity.” 


“As One Fire Consumes Another” by John Sibley Williams— A New Kind of Poetry

Williams, John Sibley. “As One Fire Consumes Another”, Orison Books , 2019.

A New Kind of Poetry

Amos Lassen

In “As One Fire Consumes Another”, John Sibley Williams creates a new kind of poetry that brings metaphysics and social critique together. It is extremely tense and filled with “transcendent vision and trenchant social”. Williams shows how we, as individuals, as fathers and as citizens see the violence that makes up a good part of the history of this country. We even venture a step further by  looking what is behind the violence that has become such a part of the way we live.

From the moment that I opened the book I felt transcendence and as if I walked into a cemetery and was surrounded by bodies of those who had given their lives for the sake of country. But this was no peaceful cemetery and the dead do not rest quietly. And so I began to read the poems that ranged from elegy to prayer with so many different  forms in between. The elegance of the language draws you in and then you are slapped with the reality of what you are reading.

Americans love to label, to put things together under one overall name and this is something I have not seen in other parts of this world where I have lived. The poems here fit into such categories but we understand here that the reason for the label is  way of escape. Having extensively studied philosophy, I understand that the human condition is the result of resistance and despair and that these are essentially important to define who we are. I love that poet Williams sees our experience as a series of mistakes and that we can never get it quite right.

I got the sense that desire is what we feel throughout the volume and desire is not always fulfilled yet always there. This is not  the desire of  to covet but rather the desire that develops with us as we pass through the various stages of life.

When I review poetry, I am often told that I am obtuse for not exploring the text as much as I do in prose. This is deliberate. Of all forms of literature, poetry is the most personal and t say too much deprives the reader of his chance to identify with the poet. I see my job as one of introduction to the texts and it is your job to take them for yourself. Grab this one as soon as you can.

“Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes” Audio CD –– Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

“Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes”

Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

Amos Lassen

I have had many great experiences in my life and three of them have to do with Tony Kushner’s masterpiece. “Angels in America”. The first was getting to see the original on Broadway with the Broadway cast. I believe I sat there with mouth agape for the entire performance. The second was watching the HBO production with an all star cast (I still watch this version faithfully on DVD at least once a year). Then the third was watching this version in Brookline, Massachusetts on the screen of the Coolidge Corner Theater about two years ago and many years after the original. It had not lost any of its power and the actors were all sublime. I had hoped that there would be a DVD release of the National Theatre’s production but as of yet, there has only been this CD. I am not complaining—- this CD is brilliant all the way through

In this production, adapted especially for the listening experience, Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, and the entire cast recreate their acclaimed performances from the 2018 Tony Award-winning National Theatre revival. It adds a narration by Bobby Cannavale and Edie Falco, and a musical score by Adrian Sutton, and it is a compelling and immersive theatrical listening experience.

Kushner’s drama is a complex and insightful look into identity, community, justice, and redemption. New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, and heaven and hell as the AIDS crisis intensifies during a time of political reaction–the Reagan Republican counterrevolution of the 1980s.

The full cast is made up of:
Andrew Garfield as Prior Walter
Nathan Lane as Roy M. Cohn
Susan Brown as Hannah Pitt 
Denise Gough as Harper Pitt
Beth Malone as The Angel
James McArdle as Louis Ironson
Lee Pace as Joseph Pitt 
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Belize
With narration by
Bobby Cannavale (“Millennium Approaches”) 
Edie Falco (“Perestroika”)

The National Theatre production was directed by Marianne Elliott.