Two Tales of Two Hollywoods
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Published in: September-October 2020 issue.


Directed by Rachel Mason


Directed by Ryan Murphy



“EVERYBODY comes to Hollywood [and]wants to make it in the neighborhood,” Madonna mused nearly two decades ago, asking: “How can it hurt you when it looks so good?” That paradox—all the glamour and grime of show business—is well depicted in Circus of Books and Hollywood, a documentary and miniseries, respectively. The two share an interest in the margins around Tinseltown, especially its LGBT subculture and what “hustling” means in various forms. They are also the first fruits of that jaw-dropping $300 million contract that writer-director Ryan Murphy scored last year. Having given audiences Glee, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and the film adaptation of the late Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, the 54-year-old director and renowned workaholic continues to cultivate some of the queerest content on TV.

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Colin Carman is an assistant professor of English at Colorado Mesa University. He is currently writing his second book with a focus on happiness in the novels of Jane Austen.