Criterion Year Week 33: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Spine Number: 254

Director: John Cassavetes

Genre: Drama

As we continue looking at John Cassavetes a few things become clear. First, this man didn't know the meaning of the word compromise. Every single frame that made it into one of his films is EXACTLY what he wanted, no exceptions. Second, he was obsessed with the reality of life. Not cinematic reality, but reality. It didn't matter if that reality meant that nothing was going on at all, it was part of the story. Third, the man had an eye. Some of the most perfect and beautiful shots I've ever seen are strewn throughout his films. Fourth, he was all about moments.

That being said... this movie is difficult. Neither of us would describe it as an enjoyable movie. But, while it may not have been enjoyable, we can appreciate it.

Continuing with the part metaphor... not really sure how this fits. It could be what happens when everybody knows the party is over except you. It could be the trying to find a new party. It could be... I don't really know.


What I do know is that this is quintessentially Cassavetes. Uncomfortable, couched in silences, highlighted by moments, and completely ensconced in reality in a way that only Cassavetes could do it.


Next Week:

We reach the end of the road wiht...

Spine number 255: Opening Night

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Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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