Go Go Tales

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Go Go Tales
Go go tales.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAbel Ferrara
Produced byEnrico Coletti, Massimo Cortesi
Written byAbel Ferrara
StarringWillem Dafoe
Bob Hoskins
Music byFrancis Kuipers
CinematographyFabio Cianchetti
Edited byFabio Nunziata
Release date
23 May 2007
Running time
96 minutes
United States
Budget$6.2 million

Go Go Tales is an independent 2007 film by Abel Ferrara.[1] Ferrara based the film on The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, directed by John Cassavetes.[2] It stars Willem Dafoe as a strip club owner and co-stars Bob Hoskins, Asia Argento and Matthew Modine.[3] Ferrara had the cast improvise much of their lines.[2] He described the film as his "first intentional comedy".[4]


Ray Ruby, who manages Ray Ruby’s Paradise, is worried about fewer tourists visiting the establishment so he decides to hold a lottery to bring them in. Ray is running out of money but people expect to be paid, including the pole dancers. A landlady by the name of Lillian plans on using the spot for a Bed Bath & Beyond location if she does not receive rent money.

Desperate for money to keep the establishment open, Ray tries to find the winning ticket of his own lottery. His brother Johnnie helps keep the strip club open. The film shows the lives of people who depend on the strip club and what the lack of money does to them.


The part of Ray Ruby was offered to Christopher Walken and Harvey Keitel.[5][6]


It was screened out of competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.[7] It has been seen only at selected film festivals, including the Montréal World Film Festival where it competed for the "Grand prix des Amériques".[8] Despite being filmed by an American director, the film rights were never bought in the United States. Its only other United States airing besides the Cannes Film Festival and New York Film Festival was at the Anthology Film Archives, as part of a program titled "Abel Ferrara in the 21st Century".[4] The film was released on DVD in Australia.[9] The film was also screened in May 2019 as part of a 27-film Abel Ferrara retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (in New York City.


Ed Gonzalez, writing for Slant Magazine, praised the acting and the music.[10] Robert Koehler, of Variety, said that "Ferrara is in a wonderfully loose and comedic mood after the complex spiritual dramatics of 'Mary.'"[2] A review by The New York Times said, "A lovely drift of a movie, “Go Go Tales” commands your attention even as it lulls you along. Conspicuously inspired by John Cassavetes’s Killing of a Chinese Bookie among other touchstones, it is a sincere and inspired meditation on art and creation, but in a loose, funny key".[4] Simon Miraudo, of Quickflix, said that "all anyone wanted to talk about was the sequence in which Asia Argento’s exotic dancer tongue-kissed a dog onstage".[9] It is a Critics' Pick of The New York Times.[11] Cahiers du Cinema placed Go Go Tales 7th in its list of top 10 movies of 2012 [12]


  1. ^ Child, Ben (22 October 2008). "Italian government to sell final stake in Cinecitta". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Koehler, Robert (June 8, 2007). "Review: "Go Go Tales"". Variety. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  3. ^ "Ty's weekend movie picks for Friday, November 14". The Boston Globe. 14 November 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Dargis, Manohla (January 6, 2011). "Go Go Tales (2007)". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  5. ^ Cryptekeeper 044 Abel Ferrara/New Rose Hotel at YouTube
  6. ^ Tobias, Scott (27 November 2002). "Abel Ferrara". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Go Go Tales". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  8. ^ "Two Films Tie For The Grand Prix Des Ameriques". Film Festivals. Montreal World Film Festival. September 3, 2007. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Miraudo, Simon (November 13, 2012). "Interview: Abel Ferrara (Go Go Tales, Bad Lieutenant)". Quickflix. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  10. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (September 25, 2007). "Go Go Tales". Slant Magazine. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "Go Go Tales (2007)". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  12. ^ "Cahiers du Cinema Names Top Ten Films of 2012: 'Holy Motors' Reigns, Cronenberg, Ferrara and Coppola Represent [TRAILERS]".

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