Third Annual Vancouver Greek Film Festival
Screening Dates
  • June 7 (Friday) 6:30
  • June 12 (Wednesday) 8:25
35mm Print

One of the more impressive Hollywood movies to be set in the hip, flip jazz world.”

Geoff Andrew, Time Out

After the success of Cassavetes’s groundbreaking first feature Shadows, Paramount hired the Greek American director to make his debut studio picture. Too Late Blues is a parable of the tensions between art and commerce, described by Dennis Lim as something like a confessional manifesto from the emerging director” (Los Angeles Times). Crooner Bobby Darin, in his first top-billed dramatic role, is jazz musician Ghost” Wakefield, who leads a struggling band. He navigates relationship conflicts with his band members, new singer Jess (Stella Stevens), and agent Benny (Everett Chambers). The film has particular significance for our festival as it features the only overtly identified Greek character in Cassavetes’s oeuvre. He is played by Nick Dennis, a Greek-born actor well known for his roles in A Streetcar Named Desire, Kiss Me Deadly, and Spartacus. Too Late Blues also features the first notable screen performance of Seymour Cassel, playing one of the band members.

The June 12 screening will be introduced by Tom Charity.

There’s something Beckett-like in the incantatory force of Cassavetes’s dialogue and images, as well as in his blend of degradation and exaltation.”

Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Tom Charity is the year-round programmer at the VIFF Centre and a freelance film critic. His books include John Cassavetes: Lifeworks and The Right Stuff (BFI Modern Classics).