Screen/Society--"The Killing of a Chinese Bookie" (1976) John Cassavetes - 35mm print
Repertory + Rediscoveries:
"The Killing of a Chinese Bookie"
(John Cassavetes, 1976, 108 min. [1978 director's cut], USA, English, color, 35mm)
John Cassavetes engages with film noir in his own inimitable style with "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie". Ben Gazzara brilliantly portrays a gentleman's club owner, Cosmo Vitelli, desperately committed to maintaining a facade of suave gentility despite the seediness of his environment and his own unhealthy appetites. When he runs afoul of loan sharks, Cosmo must carry out a terrible crime or lose his way of life. Mesmerizing and idiosyncratic, the film is a provocative examination of masculine identity.
"A postnoir masterpiece." Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader