The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
Directed by John Cassavetes
Running time: 109 minutes
Released in 1976, the Killing of A Chinese Bookie is a gangster film by cult American director John Cassevetes. The story of one man hanging on for dear life to his American Dream and likened to Scorcese's Mean Streets due to its gritty subject matter, the film is set in California and follows the ups and downs of failing LA strip club owner Cosmo Vitelli. Lured into killing the head of the Chinese mafia by his loan sharks, Vitelli comes to realise his assignment was a set-up which he wasn't expected to survive. Re-edited and re-released in 1978 the film is a thriller but also a true-to-life depiction of the sleazier side of showbiz. Touching and funny as well as terrifying, it embodies Cassevetes working method of incorporating a large element of improvisation in his films (where, as the director explained, lines were 'written' but the 'emotion' was improvised) with the capacity to achieve exceptional performances from his actors.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.