Previously at the ICA - Films

John Cassavetes, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, 1976

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

6 Jun 201311 Jun 2013

This classic Los Angeles neo-noir from maverick filmmaker John Cassavetes represents a high watermark of the New American Cinema movement. Inverting the genre’s typical structural devices and employing his own inebriated, heavily improvisational directorial style, Cassavetes presents us with a slurred portrait of Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) – an LA strip-club proprietor who, after a particularly disastrous drink-fuelled gambling binge, finds himself deep in debt to a group of seedy gangsters.

Downplaying plot in favour of languid character study, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie emerges as a sublime, whiskey-soaked meditation on masculinity, performance and that deeply American preoccupation: free enterprise.

The opening screening is part of Independents Day, a day of discussion, debate and entertainment delivered by invited special guests from across the independent sector. 

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, dir John Cassavetes, USA 1976, 109 mins, cert 15

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