Massive Attack: Paradise Circus – Black Dog Films – 8.019

Massive Attack: Paradise Circus

The video inter-sperses a present day interview with Spelvin about her feelings, both at the same time and now, about the film with lurid footage of the original movie. Spelvin frankly discusses her mixed feelings towards sex and prostitution, and confesses repeatedly that what ultimately drew her to making the film, despite its explicit content, was her “love of the camera”. Even more unsettling though, is her acknowledgement that making the movie was “probably the most uncomfortable and humiliating thing I’ve ever done on film.”


The movie was ostensibly made to promote the track Paradise Circus (featuring vocals by Hope Sandoval) from Massive Attack’s recent album Heligoland, but the track largely becomes a backdrop to the compelling documentary about Spelvin. What could have been a prurient exercise in sensationalism is, instead, a dark, disturbing and unnerving piece of filmmaking.


The film can be viewed, here, on


Director/producer:  Toby Dye, Executive Producer:  Svana Gisla, Prod company:  Black Dog Films, DoP:  Simon Thirlaway, Editor Julian Eguiguren, TK grade:   Mark Horrobin at Big Buoy, Online:  Emily Irvine at Big Buoy, Commissioner:  Svana Gisla


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