Exploring Desire and Subversion: Bette Gordon’s Cult Classic “Variety

LADY-DIRECTED DECEMBER #1: Variety (1983) – dir. Bette Gordon | Films Like Dreams, Etc.

The article published in ‘lwlies.com’ discusses Bette Gordon’s journey in filmmaking, particularly focusing on her 1983 cult classic “Variety.” Gordon, influenced by film noir, arrived in New York during a challenging period of Reaganite politics and arts funding cuts. She thrived within the creative, resource-sharing environment of Tribeca lofts alongside artists like Nan Goldin. “Variety,” a neon-noir film, centers on a woman working in a porn theater, exploring themes of female desire, voyeurism, and subversion.

Gordon’s unique vision inverts traditional thriller dynamics. Inspired by punk author Kathy Acker’s explicit and subversive writing, Gordon blends genres to create a film about women and looking. The protagonist, Christine, inhabits male spaces, capturing the tension of infiltrating a different world.

The article highlights Gordon’s friendship with Nan Goldin, who contributed to the film and became a collaborator. Goldin’s distinctive visual style added depth to the project. “Variety” was met with both praise and criticism, with its lack of a definitive ending provoking discussion. Gordon reflects that the film’s open conclusion symbolizes the space between desire and gratification, teeming with potential.

Overall, the article provides insights into Bette Gordon’s artistic evolution, her fascination with women’s roles in film, and the collaborative process behind “Variety.” The film’s unique approach to narrative and exploration of female experience has cemented its status as a cult classic.

#FilmNoir #CultClassic #FemaleDesire #SubversiveCinema #BehindTheScenes