The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Jun 29, 2016

(John Cassavetes, US, 1976, 35mm, 135 min)

35mm print!

John Cassavetes’s mid-70s film noirish gangster film casts Ben Gazzara as Cosmo Vitelli, a gentleman’s club owner who desperately clings on to his façade of suave demeanor and control despite the seedy world around him and his indulgences in self-destructive behavior. Finding himself deep in debt with loan sharks, Cosmo is forced to carry out a terrible crime or lose his way of life. A mesmerizing study of masculine identity.
“Compared to the grimy reality of other 1970s crime movies such as The French Connection, the formal surface of The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is one of shimmering beauty. And that is because it is not a realistic film. It is the subjective fever dream of a psyche carving fantasy out of reality as he goes.” – Jason Mark Scotte, Brightlights Film Journal

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