A feminist classic reimagines the neo-noir from the point of view of a porno theatre ticket-seller.
Dir. Bette Gordon / United States / 1983 / English
Bette Gordon’s feminist classic is a portrait of a woman (Sandy McLeod) who, having taken a job as a ticket seller in a porno theatre, is simultaneously compelled and repulsed by its seedy milieu. Part alternative neo-noir, part a reversal of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and inspired by the director’s own wanderings around late-night New York City, Variety is a film about looking and being looked at. Utterly enthralling, it captures a moment in time when New York was a city split in two, where squalor and culture co-existed, when artists took over the underbelly of the city and made it iconic. Pulling from Gordon’s own troupe of friends, Variety is an assembly of icons of the 1980s cool avant-garde: written by punk author Kathy Acker, shot by Living in Oblivion director Tom DiCillo, with music by composer John Lurie, and co-starring Will Patton, Luis Guzmán and photographer Nan Goldin.
Anna Bogutskaya, Film and Talks Programmer
Bette Gordon will be at the festival to present her film.
A gallery carousel of 3 items
Presented in association with Bristol's Cinema Rediscovered festival
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Director: Bette Gordon
A pioneer in the American independent film world, Gordon is best known for her bold explorations of themes related to sexuality. Her early short films, most notably Empty Suitcases, won numerous awards and festival acclaim worldwide, including showings at the Berlin International Film Festival, New York's Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Biennial. Variety (1984) marked her debut as a feature film director, particularly in light of the film's invitational showing at the Cannes Film Festival's Director's Fortnight.
Gordon holds a BA, MA, and MFA from The University of Wisconsin - Madison and is now a part of the film department of Columbia University School of the Arts. Some of her films are now a part of permanent collections in several different museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Writers: Bette Gordon, Kathy Acker
Producer: Renée Shafransky
Cast: Sandy McLeod, Will Patton, Luis Guzmán
Sales Agent: Kino Lorber
Distributor: Other Parties
New 2K restoration from the original camera negative, overseen by Director Bette Gordon.
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Photo: Still from Variety