Bette Gordon and Kathy Acker are a dream duo when it comes to cinema. The creativity and sense of urgency to tell women’s stories from them is pretty inspiring. Acker is no longer with us but Gordon is and she is still answering questions about Variety. It’s a film that uses pornography as a sort of landscape and the female mind as our spaceship. Of course she still has to answer questions about it but before judging the subject material, people should check the film out.
Christine is a young woman living in New York City and trying her hardest to find a decent job. She’s a writer and gets desperate enough to take a job at the Variety theater as a concierge in Times Square. The Variety specializes in showing pornographic films which immediately alarms and confuses Christine’s boyfriend, Mark. Christine gets sort of obsessed with the job after meeting a patron who she starts following around the city. She gets sort of lost but I do think she ultimately gains something from branching out.
Variety has a very interesting pace that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but the performance from Sandy McLeod as Christine is pretty awesome. She dives deep into the madness of following someone and their hobbies. If porn bothers you at all then skip this one but if you like watching a woman take control of a situation then go for it. Way too many stories are told from the perspective of the male gaze but Variety flips that idea upside down. Gordon and Acker did something truly unique and ruffled feathers along the way.