A man of few words, Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) loves everything about Crazy House West, the strip club that 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 would love to refuse, the tables turn. Director John Cassavetes didn’t care about the commercial concerns of Hollywood. The unconventional films he wrote and directed with unorthodox characters and troubled relationships made him the father of independent cinema,influencing Martin Scorsese, Jim Jarmusch and Spike Lee, among others. Introduced by photographer Greg Girard.
In downtown Cairo, constructed in the Art Deco style, the majestic Yacoubian building still stands. From a smug self-made millionaire with a thirst for political power to a Piaf-wannabe in a glitzy nightclub, the building and its inhabitants decompose, all victims of their merciless society. Based on a best-selling novel, and covering such taboo subjects as homosexuality and abortion, The Yacoubian Building broke box-office records at home and was a popular VIFF title too.