“BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY”— Long Live [the] Queen


Long Live [the] Queen

Amos Lassen

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is baroque and evocative thanks almost entirely to Rami Malek’s phenomenal performance. He may not look  like Freddie Mercury but when you see him move, you can almost believe that he is Freddie. The plot itself is formulaic rockstar biopic and that is ironic considering the scenes in which members of the band rail against following record-industry routine. It’s an enjoyable journey, though, with the performance scenes being particular highlights. Freddie’s sexuality plays a big role here. Yet a lot of Freddie Mercury’s story goes untold here, but we do get the broad strokes.  Rami Malek nails Freddie Mercury’s trademark overbite, elegantly feral stage delivery and posh accent.

The movie rushes through his first encounters of what would eventually become Queen. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor (Gwilym Lee and Ben Hardy) helped produce the movie, and because John Deacon (Joe Mazzello) didn’t, the latter gets considerably less screen time.

The early scenes of creative collaboration and show-business rise are thrilling and there is a wonderful scene  with a fictional record exec (Mike Myers) who doesn’t want to release the band’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” masterpiece. The film juxtaposes the band’s touring success with graphic excerpts from negative reviews of the song. 

The tale’s most fractured area involves Freddie’s mercurial sex life. It shows his relationship with early girlfriend Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) at the expense of his eventual gay identity. Mary was very important to Freddie  (she inherited most of his estate), but this overly sanitized film  relies on the kind of demonic depiction of gay subculture we became used to seeing not so long ago essentially blaming his eventual AIDS diagnosis  on his unhealthy moral choices. 

A lot is crammed into the period leading up to Queen’s genuinely triumphant turn at Live Aid, in 1985. That gig, beautifully restaged here, is depicted as a strained reunion, although the band never actually broke up.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a reductive cinematic portrayal of a legendary pop-cultural figure. The film is a flashy yet a shallow overview of Queen Freddie Mercury’s life from his days working as a luggage handler at Heathrow Airport, while living at home in London with his conservative immigrant Parsi parents (Ace Bhatti and Meneka Das), to famously stealing the show on stage at Live Aid, a massive concert organized as a fundraiser for famine relief in Africa in 1985. And while the film’s conclusion is an impressively intricate and deeply moving recreation of the band’s iconic performance at Live Aid, the scenes leading up to the show are ultimately plagued by a sense of each narrative and artistic choice being the safest one available.

Queen’s meteoric rise to prominence is cross-cut throughout the film with the development of Mercury’s relationship with Mary Austin who goes from being his would-be bride to his close friend following the revelation of his homosexuality. And the film is at its most engaging when capturing how Mercury and his bandmates conceived some of their biggest hits in the studio. The playing out of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each of Queen’s members in relation to one another provides both narrative tension and a fascinating portrayal of artistic collaboration.

Mercury’s descent into a life of drugs, booze, and sexual excess is later depicted as the catalyst of Queen’s demise in the years prior to the Live Aid performance. The film seems almost embarrassed to include on-screen evidence of Mercury’s sexuality, as if eager to subtextually corroborate the stereotype of tragic queerness leading to tragic promiscuity leading to an inevitably tragic death. Suggestions of his homosexual desire are pushed into a single wistful glance at a rugged truck driver slinking into a public restroom and lavish representations of drug-fueled parties that are otherwise meant to demonstrate just how deeply into depravity Mercury  had sunk. The news of his AIDS diagnosis is practically the only indication the audience gets that Mercury even had a sex life at all.

And while “Bohemian Rhapsody” does succeed in mapping out the most important touchstones of Mercury’s all-too-short life, it does so at the expense of many opportunities for depth of feeling. The minor characters are drawn two-dimensionally at best and are rushed through scenes simply to provide a sense of forward momentum rather than to add any particular nuance or inflection to the core narrative.

As the eventually insidious Paul Prenter (Allen Leech) Mercury’s personal manager during much of his career, who later sold incriminating personal information about the singer to the press, goes into a rage about the limitations of queer existence almost moving in the single scene in which he’s actually given space to perform, rather than to react.

The film mistakenly believes that simply moving through an overview of Mercury’s life will allow it to arrive at something approaching intimacy.

“JUST ME”— A House Call

“Just Me”

A House Call

Amos Lassen

When Police Officer Connor (Carl Laughin) is doing house to house calls he is shocked to find Scott (Philip Olivier).  Something lets us know that the two have shared some intimate past, but before they can broach it, they are joined at the front door by a woman (Chauntelle Cowler). She lets it slip that she is Scott’s fiance and they are going to get married in the coming weeks.  She invites Connor to join the Stag Party which he politely refuses saying that his S & M gear probably wouldn’t be well accepted.  Scott became very interested in this.

On the night of the stag party in a local Liverpool pub, Scott is bored with his straight friends and leaves them and wanders off to the local gay club where a leather night is happening.  He sees Conner and at first is very reluctant to unwind, and when he finally does, he has a night he will not forget in many ways.

The short film focuses on Scott’s conflicted sexuality. Philip Olivier turns in a finely nuanced performance as bisexual Scott. He is no stranger to the LGBT community having once was in a Mr. Gay U.K. competition and has shed all his clothes more than once to grace the cover of gay magazines.

There is a very convincing chemistry between Olivier and Loughlin and this makes this film so watchable and enjoyable.



Meeting the Piripkura

Amos Lassen

In Brazil, there are about 900,000 indigenous peoples from a total of 305 peoples that speak 297 different languages. One of these peoples are the Piripkura, who live deep in the Amazon, far from any civilization. The last time Jair Candor, Coordinator of the Brazilian Indigenous Protection Authority (FUNAI) saw the last two survivors was six years ago and now he has to go back to the jungle to prove that both are still alive and that the protection of their territory can be maintained.

Candor took a film crew with him that consisted of Bruno Jorge (Bairro), Mariana Oliva (Miradas) and Renata Terra (Teresa), who capture the difficult journey and try to document the circumstances of the dense jungle, where paths are barely visible and the high humidity seems to cause problems. They are trying to find signs that Pakyî and Tamandua may have been here in recent weeks.

The journey is arduous and footprints are rarely found, so the question inevitably arises as to whether both are still alive. Illnesses could cause problems for both. Candor quietly reports on the value of indigenous peoples. “Piripkura” is 80 minutes long and the participants stroll seemingly aimlessly through the jungle, commenting on whatever. They make contact with Pakyî and Tamandua who  move naked through the jungle.

The search for the last survivors of Piripkura and their protection is undoubtedly important but I would have liked a bit more background on the tribe. Every few years, Jair Candor drives his car across Brazil to Mato Grosso on the Bolivian border. From there, he and several companions, heavily laden, go on foot to a piece of rainforest that has so far defied the surrounding plantations and pastures. The reason for this is two people who live in there. These are the last two traditional men of the Piripkura people. The presence of Pakyî and Tamandua is also a livelihood for the forest in which they live and that can only be secured from deforestation by legitimizing their homeland.

The biggest threats to the Piripkura are not hunger, disease or wild animals, but prospectors and woodcutters. In such an attack, the Piripkura lost a large part of their people a few years ago. Apart from the two men, a sister and niece Rita, who now lives in one of the shanty towns that FUNAI provides elsewhere, also survived and that is what is left.  

In the film, hovering, atmospheric camera shots through the bushes contrast with shaky camera stretches during foot marches. And when the two wanted then on a second expedition about the film center really emerge from the woods and the camera is zooming in on them,

Payki and Tamandua sometimes get fed up with by their supporters but the help they receive is welcome. Their future is uncertain.

This Brazilian documentary by Renata Terra, Bruno Jorge and Mariana Oliva, with rare openness, refers to the genocide that has been associated with the jungle in the Amazon. Jair Candor knows that the last two Piripkura, who live in the forests away from civilization, are in constant danger. If they encounter a lumberjack or prospector they will most likely be shot, he fears. Pakyî and Tamanduo, whose tribesmen were murdered or expelled by the whites in the 1980s, are readily and politely photographed and filmed by Jair and his companions for a while before disappearing into the rainforest. The film givess the audience the only opportunity to get to know these.

We feel sad  when Pakyî and Tamanduo say “Ciao” after their visit to Funai Station. They go into the green wilderness and both protection and freedom, with their torch, two bags of gifts and wearing new T-shirts. Jair himself does not know when he will see her again. With him, we in the audience experienced the two indigenous people as polite and friendly, even though they did not understand the language of the officials who medically examined them.

Jair tells us that he has witnessed the murder attacks on indigenous tribes in the 1960s. Rainforest inhabitants were the settlers, farmers and lumberjacks  and others formed squads that went into the forest at night, attacked an indigenous community, set fire to longhouses, killed all people. The conviction that the forest dwellers must be extinguished because they stand in the way of progress is still widespread today, says Jair. He looks to the future with concern. Too many contemporaries, not just in Brazil, believe that progress is in the exploitation of nature.

This moving documentary from Brazil draws the public’s attention to the extinction of the Piripkura, an indigenous people in the Amazon, who had to give way to the clearing of the jungle. Two men of this tribe managed to survive under the protection of the jungle. The camera follows a representative of the state indigenous protection authority in search of the men in the wilderness. It depends on their existence, if the land use prohibition, which gives this jungle area perhaps the last reprieve, is again extended by two years.

“The Art of Bible Translation” by Robert Alter— the Bible as Literature

Alter, Robert. ‘The Art of Bible Translation”, Princeton University Press, 2018.

The Bible as Literature

Amos Lassen

I am a huge fan of Robert Alter and love his biblical translations. We so often take the bible as a book of law and forget the wonderful literature that is there and Alter wants to change that. If you have worked in translation you know that it is more involved than a word for work repetition and that the nuance of a word is as important as its meaning. I believe that I sensed this the most in Alter’s translations of “The Song of Songs”. It is also important to understand that a translation is also a commentary.

What I have always loved about Alter’s translations (and by the way, his complete translation of the Hebrew Bible is now available in three volumes) is not only the literary power but also his passion. He uses that same passion here in explaining what he learned about the art of Bible translation over the twenty years he spent completing his own English version of the Hebrew Bible.

We immediately sense that his translation captures the beauty of the biblical Hebrew in which it was originally written. I am a Hebrew speaker and took courses in biblical Hebrew so I am well aware of the literary style of the Bible as well as how difficult it is to translate and get the true meaning of the original. The average person on the street is not aware of all of the subtleties of the Hebrew language. I truly believe that to give a good translation one must be totally aware of the nuances of two languages— the original and the one he is translating it too. When I lived in Israel I translated two plays by Tennessee Williams from English into Hebrew and I spent a tremendous amount of time working on translating southern English into spoken Hebrew. How do you explain a streetcar to someone who has never seen one before and how do you explain the Bible when much of what happens there happens one time only. I look at translation as a puzzle to be solved and that makes it not only interesting but fun.

It is surely Alter’s literary training that gives him the advantage of seeing that a translation of the Bible can convey the text’s meaning only by trying to capture the powerful and subtle literary style of the biblical Hebrew, something the modern English versions do not do justice to. The Bible’s style is one of beauty and it is the necessary way to relate the biblical vision of God, human nature, history, politics, society, and moral value is conveyed. The translators of the King James Version knew that the authority of the Bible is inseparable from its literary authority. To truly bring the Bible to life today, one must be able to recreate its literary virtuosity, and Alter discusses the principal aspects of style in the Hebrew Bible that any translator should try to reproduce: word choice, syntax, word play and sound play, rhythm, and dialogue. In the process, he provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to biblical style that also offers insights about the art of translation far beyond the Bible.”

Alter has succeeded brilliantly with his translation and now that it is done he shares his “deeply personal account of the pleasures and challenges of translating the Hebrew Bible into modern English”. This is an amazing and entertaining read as well as an intellectual endeavor.

“Punk Rock Hora: Adventures in Jew-Punk Land” by Michael Croland— Who Knew?

Croland, Michael. “Punk Rock Hora: Adventures in Jew-Punk Land”, Independently published, 2018.

Who Knew?

Amos Lassen

I should not be surprised that there are Jewish punk bands since there are Jewish everything “elses”. I guess I really never thought about it and I am very glad that Michael Croland did think about it and write this very informative and fun to read book.

Michael Croland has been following Jewish punk bands since 2005 and has been to many, many concerts and has gotten to know and to interview many musicians. He is an authority on the subject and eagerly shares what he knows. Just to give you an idea of his style, take a look at this: “Michael has drunk Manischewitz wine passed around a pit, witnessed a bagel fight between a singer and concertgoers, and scheduled his wedding around a band’s availability. He has danced the hora with the intensity turned up to 11, inspiring the fun hora interludes between chapters.”

Punk culture is on the edge just as Jewish culture often finds itself and Croland shows us how these two somewhat discordant cultures come together.  He shares comedic behind-the-scenes anecdotes, insightful analyses of the songs, and his unparalleled access to the artists. I must admit that punk rock never did anything for me but after reading this, I am ready to give it another chance. Not only do we learn how Michael fell in love with Jewish punk, we are privy to his “interviews with thought-provoking Jewish outcasts, playlists for Jewish holidays, and introductions to new bands.” This is more than just one genre of a book; it is memoir, it is a collection of articles about Jewish-punk music and then it is whatever you take it to be.

Croland has divided the book into three sections based upon years. Part one covers 2005-2010, part two from 2013-2016 and part three from 2016-2018. He explains that Jewish punks and proud Jews in their meaningful. Ways (but is that not true of all Jews?). We see that Jewish punks come in all flavors. In a sense they are outcasts from the mainstream yet hold on to their Jewish roots in ways that only they can explain. There are Zionists and anti-Zionists and there are queer Jews, anarchist Jews, socialist and vegan Jews and they come together as punk Jews or Jewish punks. Many have not abandoned their Jewishness and choose to reflect upon it in their music. The music might not be melodious and popular but it a reflection of these Jews who choose to employ their Judaism thusly.

In the epilogue, Croland shares that he once fantasized about ”Heebcore” and actually found humor in the ideas of there being punk Jews. But then he learned about “Yidcore” and from there he learned of others and he was on his way. In fact, he tells us that Jewish punk has made him feel more secure in who he is as a Jew and that he can be his own person and do things that are meaningful to him while embracing his own Judaism. Isn’t that basically what we all want anyway?

By writing about Jewish punk,  Croland has created an identity for himself and learned how to be comfortable in his own skin. Some of the bands we read about here include “Yidcore”, “Jewdriver”, “Moshiach Oi!”, “Golem”, “Schmekel” (actually this is the only Jew-punk band I have heard and that is because a friend of mine once worked with them), “The Shondes”, “The Groggers”, “Gangsta Rabbi”, “Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird”, and more.

I really had a great time reading this book—in fact, I enjoyed it so much that I read it in one sitting and then began looking at webpages of the bands. Reading Croland was like sharing an afternoon with a friend who has many new things to tell me. Great literature it is not but that’s fine. It’s fun to read just to enjoy once in a while.

“Ike’s Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler” by Peter Shinkle— Eisenhower’s First National Security Advisor

Shinkle, Peter. “Ike’s Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler”, Steerforth Press, 2018.Hardcover – December 4, 2018

Eisenhower’s First National Security Advisor

Amos Lassen

“Ike’s Mystery Man” is the extraordinary story of a gay man who held the nation’s most sensitive secrets at a time when such a thing was supposed to be impossible.
President Eisenhower’s National Security Advisor Robert “Bobby” Cutler was the person who shaped American Cold War strategy in far more consequential ways than previously understood. Cutler was a lifelong Republican, yet also served three Democratic presidents. He was known to be the life of any party yet he was a tight-lipped loyal man who worked behind the scenes to get things done. This is the story of his private life that has never before been told before.
Cutler struggled throughout his years in the White House to discover and embrace his own sexual identity and orientation. He was in love with  Skip Koons, a man half his age, NSC staffer Skip Koons. Cutler wrote with his emotions in a six-volume diary and left behind dozens of letters that have been hidden from history. Steve Benedict, who was White House security officer, Cutlers’ friend and Koons’ friend and former lover, preserved Cutler’s papers. All three men served Eisenhower at a time when anyone suspected of “sexual perversion” homosexuality, was banned from federal employment and vulnerable to security sweeps by the FBI. With the freedoms that we have today, we can only wonder how it was to live like that and we know that many gay men did.

Peter Shinkle has found an extraordinary story through the diary and letters of Robert “Bobby” Cutler, an able public servant. We see how power was wielded in Washington during the 1950s, and also read about the eternal conflict between public life and private emotion.  Eisenhower’s National Security Advisor, General Robert “Bobby” Cutler, was Ike’s “unseen arm”  who worked on and guided many of the President’s most important foreign policies. There is more and that is “the intimate unknown painful story of a gay man’s secret love within the homophobic councils of government.

This book is an important, richly researched contribution to the history of one of the sad episodes in American history — a time  when, during the height of the McCarthy era, thousands of government workers were driven from their jobs or barred from ever getting one because they were gay. It is astonishing to learn that Robert Cutler, President Eisenhower’s first national security advisor and one of the authors of the notorious 1953 Executive Order that declared “sexual perversion” a threat to national security, was himself a closeted gay man. Shinkle shares Cutler’s private hell as he struggled to reconcile his passion for a much younger man with the social mores of his time.

It just so happens that Robert Cutler was the great uncle of Peter Shinkle and perhaps that is why it is written with so much love and respect.
“A honeyed, scintillating and ultimately sad tale of gay love at the highest reaches of the Eisenhower White House . . . Peter Shinkle tells the story of his great uncle Robert Cutler with grace and sensitivity. If this story had come out at the height of the McCarthyite madness, the scandal would have imploded the Eisenhower presidency.

Shinkle exposes how one of the chief architects of American national security policy during the Cold War was a “confirmed bachelor,” even in the midst of Washington’s Lavender Scare. There was an elite circle of gay men who were welcomed into the social world of Mamie and Dwight Eisenhower and this demonstrates how extreme discretion and dissembling allowed some to survive the anti-gay purges. Because of the detective work of Peter Shinkle, we now have the diaries and love letters of one of the complicated loves that existed back then.  Bobby Cutler had two great loves; one was for another Eisenhower aide and the other for his country. Cutler lived in a climate of rabid homophobia yet served as Ike’s “right arm” in crafting national security policy and transforming the role of the National Security Council.

Bobby Cutler was a Harvard-trained lawyer who was not gay himself but who worked with other gay men in the White House and fell in love with one of them at the heart of Ike’s national security apparatus. This was in the nation’s lawmaking capitol at the height of the McCarthy era, where vicious hunts for homosexuals were led often by men who themselves were gay or suspected of homosexuality. An atmosphere of fear and paranoia prevailed. Cutler was gay at a time America ostracized that orientation — and his lover was a CIA operative when the agency typically shunned such people. 

Peter Shinkle masterfully brings together two compelling stories. One is about Dwight Eisenhower’s first national security advisor and his contributions to shaping Cold War policies; the second is the story about Bobby Cutler’s sexual identity struggle and his personal relationships in an era when homosexuality was considered perversion and Eisenhower’s own policies towards homosexuals were punitive. 

In the annals of presidential directives, few were more chilling than a document signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in April 1953. It had been crafted during the height of the Cold War; Executive Order 10450 declared that alongside Communism, “sexual perversion” by government officials was a threat to national security. The order became the catalyst for a massive purge of the federal workforce and in the years that followed, thousands of government employees were investigated and fired for being gay.

The full story of Executive Order 10450 and its terrible consequences has only started to surface and it turns out there was an untold personal drama behind the making of the antigay White House order and that I the subject of “Ike’s Mystery Men”.

 “Bobby” Cutler Jr. became a close adviser to Eisenhower during his 1952 presidential campaign. He was then asked by Ike to serve as White House special assistant for national security affairs, the forerunner to the position of national security adviser. In that post, Cutler, who prided himself on never talking to the press, was a pivotal figure, helping to direct U.S. foreign policy during an era of tense global confrontation with the Soviet Union. And it was also Cutler who oversaw the drafting of Executive Order 10450 — a role all the more remarkable because, as Shinkle reveals, Cutler was a gay man who secretly pursued a passionate, years-long relationship with a young naval intelligence officer on the National Security Council staff.

“Bobby served the nation’s strategic defense and national security interests brilliantly, while living in private agony as a closeted homosexual, deprived of the affections for which he longed,” writes Shinkle.

The book will undoubtedly stir discussion and arguments among historians and activists who have been trying for years to resurrect the erased history of the U.S. government’s demonization of homosexuals, and to understand how it came about.

 The Eisenhower executive order caused unspeakable damage to loyal LGBT Americans—- tens of thousands were investigated and had their lives ruined. “This is the texture of history. That you have a homosexual — known to himself as a homosexual — writing this order, it blew my mind.”

The story of how Shinkle came to learn about Robert Cutler’s private life is also fascinating. In 2006, while on a family vacation, his aunt and mother first told him the closely guarded family secret: that “Uncle Bobby” (a lifelong bachelor who died in 1974 and whom Shinkle never met) had been gay. Shinkle was intrigued by the puzzle of how a figure at the pinnacle of power in the U.S. establishment could keep such a secret for so many years and so he reached out to Harry Lodge, the son of one of Cutler’s best friends, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (and Richard Nixon’s vice presidential running mate in 1960) Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. The younger Lodge told him that Cutler’s sexual orientation was widely known among his peers. “He didn’t bother to hide it when he wasn’t at work,” Lodge told him.

Shinkle’s trail soon led to the Eisenhower Library, where he located thousands of pages of documents about his great-uncle that had been donated by another former Eisenhower aide, Steve Benedict, who had served as White House security officer. It gets even crazier from then on but you will have to read the book to see ho much.

Eisenhower had promised during his 1952 campaign to root out “subversives” in the government. This was a pledge  to appease the demagogic Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a man Ike privately disliked. Early in the new administration, the new attorney general, Herbert Brownell, sent the White House a brief draft executive order to tighten security procedures and enhance background investigations by federal agencies — without specifying exactly what conduct would be disqualifying.

Over time, the climate of fear caught up with Cutler and his young gay White House friends. Cutler resigned in 1955, apparently fearing that he could become an embarrassment during the president’s reelection campaign the next year. He cited “personal and private concerns.” Eisenhower, who appears to have looked the other way at the rumors about his close aide’s sexual orientation, wrote Cutler a note yelling him that his leaving was like “losing my right arm.”

After the election, Cutler returned to his White House national security post. By then, J. Edgar Hoover was onto him having picked up allegations about Cutler’s homosexuality from a gay White House correspondence clerk. Hoover, who was ruthless in pursuing gays as part of an FBI “sex deviates” program, inexplicably never pressed the investigation of Cutler. Shinkle imagines that the FBI director backed off because he feared that pursuing Cutler would have done “severe damage” to Hoover’s standing with Eisenhower (and, even more speculative, that Hoover, who himself was a lifelong bachelor, may have seen Cutler as a “kindred soul”). Benedict and Koons, both of whom had left the White House.

“One Dimensional Queer” by Roderick Ferguson— A Radical Potential for Change

Ferguson, Roderick. “One-Dimensional Queer”, Polity, 2018.

A Radical Potential for Change

Amos Lassen

The struggle for gay rights has long been regarded as one of single-minded focus on the fight for sexual freedom. This was once how we were seen by the rest of the world yet its origins are much more complicated than this single-issue interpretation would have us believe. If we were to agree with this we would have to acknowledge the powerful role sex has played in the history of the world.  Ignoring  gay liberation’s multidimensional beginnings underestimates its radical potential for social change. 

In “One Dimensional Queer”, Roderick Ferguson shows how queer liberation came out of various insurgent struggles crossing the politics of race, gender, class, and sexuality, and deeply connected to issues of colonization, incarceration, and capitalism. He traces the rise and fall of this intersectional politics and argues that the one-dimensional mainstreaming of queerness placed critiques of racism, capitalism, and the state outside the remit of gay liberation and falsely so. We see, of late, that activism is increasingly making clear that this one-dimensional legacy has promoted forms of exclusion that marginalize queers of color, the poor, and transgender individuals. Ferguson calls upon us to reimagine and reconnect the fight for social justice in all its varied forms.

We see here how race and sexuality came to be understood as separate formations in US history. The mainstreaming of LGBT cultures has been disastrous in terms of seeing our way out of the current crisis we inhabit. Ferguson offers solutions as well as critique.


“In this searing critique of pink capitalism and rainbow-approved state violence, Ferguson slays the flat misnomer that the 1969 Stonewall Riots were only about gay sex. Instead, he brilliantly contextualizes Stonewall multi-dimensionally in histories of anti-racist and anti-imperialist rebellion.”
Steven W. Thrasher, The Guardian and Northwestern University



“2018 World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox Complete”

Blu Ray Collector’s Edition

Amos Lassen

The 2018 Major League Baseball season ended with the Boston Red Sox as distinct favorites to win the World Series. The 108-win Red Sox kept rolling for 11 more wins to earn a World Series title and cement themselves as the best team in the franchise’s 118-year history. First they overcame the rival New York Yankees, also winners of 100 games. Then awaiting in the ALCS were the 103-win Houston Astros, defending World Series champions. The Red Sox methodically advanced to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Fall Classic. The Boston favorites won Games 1 and 2 at Fenway Park, were defeated in an historic 18-inning battle in Game 3, then produced a dramatic comeback win in Game 4 before producing a convincing clincher in Game 5. 
THE BOSTON RED SOX 2018 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR’S EDITION includes all five games of the World Series, the pennant-clinching ALCS Game 5 and a bonus disc of the ALDS clinching Game 4 versus the Yankees. Relive every moment of the 2018 Fall Classic starring David Price, Chris Sale, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Steve Pearce, Andrew Benintendi, Nathan Eovaldi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mitch Moreland, Alex Cora, and others.


“MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: 2018 World Series Boston Red Sox VS. Los Angeles Dodgers

“Major League Baseball: 2018 World Series Boston Red Sox Vs Los Angeles Dodgers”

Blu Ray Collector’s Edition

Amos Lassen

The 2018 Boston Red Sox dominated their way to a World Series title in a way that Red Sox Nation has never seen. A relentless march through the regular season led to a franchise-record 108 wins. Then they beat L.A. for their fourth World Series championship since 2004 after blowing through the rival Yankees and defending champion Astros. Damage Done! 
Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi ignited Boston in Game 1 at Fenway Park with a quick run before there was an out, and pinch hitter Eduardo Nuñez crushed a 3-run home run to set the tone for the series. In Game 2, J.D. Martinez continued the team’s brilliant season-long 2-out hitting, and the legend of David Price began as the Red Sox took a commanding two-game lead. 
The scene shifted to Los Angeles where Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit an 8th inning home run that helped send Game 3 to extras, but folk hero Nathan Eovaldi and the Red Sox fell short in the 18th inning. Boston quickly regrouped for a Game 4 comeback win started by Mitch Moreland’s 3-run pinch-hit homer and punctuated by four RBI from Willie Mays World Series MVP Steve Pearce. The deciding Game 5 never seemed as close as the 5-1 score, as Joe Kelly and Chris Sale finished a masterpiece for the Boston faithful. Rookie Manager Alex Cora became the first Puerto Rican manager to win a championship, inspiring his team with an all in attitude and impressing with managerial mastery of a deep lineup, starters out of the bullpen and on short rest, and strategic defensive alignments. This talented, diverse, and inclusive team cemented its place in Boston lore as the greatest Red Sox team ever. 



“THE DICK CAVETT SHOW”— Coming to DVD from SMORE Entertainment


Coming to DVD from SMORE Entertainment




via MVD Entertainment Group

Since 1968 Dick Cavett has been host of his own talk show, in a variety of formats and on a number of television and radio formats.

These releases were taken from episodes that aired between 1968 through 1996 and feature some of the best known news reporters of the era including Cronkite, Rather, Brokaw, Walters, Wallace and Sawyer. He has also gathered 7 Emmy nominations and 2 wins. News-people appearing include: Walter Leland Cronkite (November 4, 1916 – July 27, 2009: Cavett conducted two one-on-one conversations with Cronkite, October 16, 1974 and the other on March 11, 1982. Thomas John Brokaw (February 6, 1940) : Cavett and Brokaw chatted face to face on May 29, 1989 Daniel Irvin Rather (October 31, 1931): Rather and Cavett conducted their interview October 26, 1991 Myron Leon “Mike” Wallace (May 9, 1918 – April 7, 2012) : Mike Wallace was a participant on a Cavett panel that included Robert Klein, Joan Gans Johnson and Nicholas Johnson on June 30, 1970. Barbara Jill Walters (September 25, 1929): Walters was on a panel with Gig Young, Melvyn Douglas and fellow newscaster, Frank Reynolds, on October 15, 1970 Lila Diane Sawyer (December 22, 1945) : On November 18, 1985, Sawyer appeared on a panel with 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt, Morley Safer and oddly, Teddy Ruxpin and Don Kingsborough (the man who introduced the Teddy Ruxpin toy).


These releases were taken from episodes that aired between 1968 through 1996 and feature some of the wittiest, edgy comics of the era including Robin Williams, Bobcat Goldthwait, Richard Lewis and Gilbert Gottfried. He has also gathered 7 Emmy nominations and 2 wins. Comedians appearing are: Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014): Cavett conducted a two part interview with Williams on April 17, 1979, prior to the release of Popeye but at the height of his fame as Mork. Robert Francis “Bobcat” Goldthwait (May 26, 1962) Dick and Bobcat sat down and chatted, face to face, on March 13, 1992 shortly before his 1993 gig as opening act for Nirvana’s final North American tour. Richard Philip Lewis (June 29, 1947) : Richard Lewis sat down with Cavett on September 13, 1990, during his stint starring on Anything But Love. Gilbert Jeremy Gottfried (February 28, 1955) : On August 6, 1990, while still appearing on SNL and in the midst of the release of 2 films and other television work, Cavett and Gottfried had their one on one interview.


These episodes were taken from shows that aired between 1990 through 1995 and feature some of the insightful, thought provoking and satirical brilliance of George Carlin, Martin Mull and Steve Martin. Cavett has also gathered 7 Emmy nominations and 2 wins. Comedians appearing are: George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) one of the most influential and revered comedians of his era. Lauded by Rolling Stone as second on their 50 best stand-up comics of all time. While Carlin appeared 5 times on The Dick Cavett Show, 3 were as a part of panels and we’ve chosen to use the two ‘one-on-one’ shows he did with Cavett on June 5, 1990 and December 1, 1992. Martin Eugene Mull (August 18, 1943) is a multi-talented comedian, actor, singer and artist but got his start in show business in 1970 after writing “A Girl Named Johnny Cash” for country star Jane Morgan. If you remember Garth and Barth Gimble, then you remember Mull’s first major acting role. He started as Garth Gimble on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” (produced by Norman Lear) which led to the spin off, “Fernwood Tonight”, where he played Garth’s identical twin Barth, with sidekick Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard). Mull sat down with Cavett on June 4, 1995 during the time he was appearing on “Roseanne” and just before starting work on “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Stephen Glenn Martin (August 14, 1945) is a multi-talented individual, excelling at comedy, acting, producer, musician (piano and banjo, winning two Grammys for his prowess on the banjo) and playwright. Not a joke teller, per se, Martin’s act was more absurdist and off beat…(who can forget the arrow through the head routine? Or ‘excuse me’?) Steve Martin appeared just this one time on Cavett on December 17, 1992, after completion of 3 films in 1991 and 2 more in 1992.