THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE

John Cassavetes, USA, 1976, Shout! Factory, Arthouse

John Cassavetes’ love letter to the art of theater, inside a neo-noir take on the sleazy ‘70s Southland!  

In what other film would a waitress from famed post-hippie L.A. restaurant The Source take her morning break next door to audition for Ben Gazzara’s bizarro performance-art strip club? When his high-flying lifestyle owes debts to a sinister syndicate (led by Seymour Cassel and a wonderfully mushy Timothy Carey), he’s given a tough choice: knocking off a Chinese “bookie” or losing his beloved theatre.

Cassavetes renders all of this with a hallucinatory eye, subverting genre conventions with his unsettled rhythms and a sweetly absurdist tone. Likewise, Gazzara perfectly embodies the fractured, contradictory persona of a character as much filled with frailty and vice as he is with ambition and integrity.

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Details

  • 135 min.
  • Color
  • 1.85:1

Formats

  • DCP

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