Thursday, November 12, 2015

1976 - THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, fascinating crime drama

John Cassevettes writes and directs a film noir / crime drama genre film with his usual touches.  I. E. lots of long scenes shot in a semi improvisational style.  Great attention is paid to character and the photography really eschews any kind of standard Hollywood look.

This is a very challenging film Cassevettes has one of leads, Ben Gazzara on screen almost the entire film.  Gazzara is the owner of a stage club who stages nudie shows with actual themes and stories in them.  As we watch Gazzara go through his life messing things up the viewer becomes more immersed in his fascinatingly seedy personality.

The film comes to a climax in an act of violence that has severe consequences for Gazzaras's character, Cosmo Vittelli.  But really the film is a study of a low life and his low life world.  The rest of the cast (including the strippers) are pretty good.

135 minutes.

No comments: