The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie

Each month, Melanie Friesen invites a distinguished guest to Vancity Theatre’s Cinema Salon, in order to present his/her favourite film. After the screening, both audience and speaker have the opportunity to engage over drinks and snacks in the Vancity lounge. This month’s film is John Cassavetes’ 1976 film The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.

With a heavily improvised script Cassavetes gets the most from his actors, each giving emotive performances. ” — Empire Magazine

A man of few words, Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) loves everything about Crazy House West, the strip club he owns and manages on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. He also has a gambling habit.

When the loan sharks who drop in to collect a payment from Vitelli and make him an offer he’d love to refuse, the tables turn. Director John Cassavetes didn’t care about the commercial concerns of Hollywood. He wrote and directed unconventional films featuring unorthodox characters and troubled relationships, making him the father of independent cinema and influencing Martin Scorsese, Jim Jarmusch, and Spike Lee, among others.

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie succeeds because for all his flaws, Cosmo remains a sympathetic figure, an underdog artist cut from the same cloth as Cassavetes himself.


Greg Girard is a Canadian photographer who’s spent much of his career in Asia, having lived for nearly 30 years in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.

Girard’s photographs have appeared in internationally recognized magazines and journals including National Geographic, TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, The New York Times, Domus and Blueprint. He’s also written five books, four of which focus on Asian cities. Last month, the Richmond Art Gallery showcased his work in an exhibition titled Greg Girard: Richmond/Kowloon.

Greg currently lives and works in Vancouver, engaged in a long-term project to document the city’s working waterfront and is represented by Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver.

Vancity Cinema Salon & Greg Girard Present The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Date: Tuesday, May 12, 7:30 pm
Venue: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $13.00; may be purchased online

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.