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Queen of Diamonds (15*)

Return to the City

Las Vegas Wheel of Fortune lit up in neon lights

An alienated blackjack dealer is at the centre of this slantwise portrait of Las Vegas.

The many cinematic depictions of Las Vegas typically glory in the glittering casino lights and the drama of the gambling table: the thrill of risk, the joy of winning, the devastation of loss. Not so this film, which shows the flipside of the city from the point-of-view of one of its worker-residents, a casino croupier, for whom each wager, each hand, carries no excitement, but is part of one long round of drudgery.

Our heroine drifts through a series of encounters. But events are beside the point, the appeal of this film are its images – sad, gorgeous, strange. This is Las Vegas as seen from the margins, a place of garish, windowless interiors, but also huge blue skies and desolate desertscapes dotted with burned-out mobile homes, cheaply-furnished apartments, and dried-up lakes.

Tagged with: Cinema Return to the City

US 1991 Dir Nina Menkes 77 min Digital presentation 


From 17 May (and unless guidance changes) six people or two households of any size can visit together as a group. Until guidance changes, we’ve created socially-distanced seating clusters. Please only sit directly beside someone from your household or support bubble, and avoid moving seats when you arrive, so we can keep a safe distance between you and other groups.

Barbican Cinema has been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England which is administered by the BFI, as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund supporting arts and cultural organisations in England affected by the impact of Covid-19. #HereForCulture.

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