After The Chosen and the Beautiful (see Fantasy 2021), Nghi Vo is back with another mesmerising mashup of historical reference and culture clash, with a heady dose of the supernatural. Doesn’t every American girl want to grow up to be a movie star? Difficult enough in pre-Code Hollywood if your name is Norma Jeane Mortenson, but what if it’s Luli Wei, and you’re a Chinese American from Hungarian Hill? In the phantasmagorical Hollywood of the Siren Queen, the magic resides behind the silver screen, behind the glamorous facade of an industry which works on blood, sweat and tears. Here we are talking about actual blood, human and monstrous, and the screen contracts, Faustian bargains that are signed in blood.
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