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57 Ratings


Directed by Bette Gordon
United States, 1983


In Bette Gordon’s pioneering indie narrative about voyeurism from a female perspective, a young woman (Sandy McLeod) works as a ticket taker in a porn theater, and her curiosity leads her to shadow a male patron.

Variety Directed by Bette Gordon

Critics reviews

Christine’s power as a woman in this space is that she’s asserting her body’s right to exist among men, and in that regard it’s one of the most deeply layered, complex pictures in the wake of women moving into the workforce.
July 17, 2018
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Bette Gordon’s singular 1983 film Variety goes beyond being a mere document of its era, calling into question representation of desire and filmmaking conventions that persist to this day… Probing but never didactic, Gordon’s film is a unique feminist thought experiment that doubles as love letter to Fear City–era New York.
March 02, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • Brotherdeacon's rating of the film Variety

    Bit of a "who's who" of 80's loft space talent in this project. Maybe it didn't fire on all cylinders, but just to see so many new (at that time) film/art/fiction/music people putting their shoulders to the wheel is worthy of note.

  • mpho3's rating of the film Variety

    "The 60s promised this idea of openness, but actually things closed down again, and I think they remain closed even today. There’s a certain belief that men don’t really want women who are open to sexuality or sex in the same way that they are. Eventually the open sexuality, I think, in a way backfired on women...." - Bette Gordon, Spout interview, 2009. 3.5 stars

  • Natalie Guevara's rating of the film Variety

    A gender-reversal noir: mousy girl intrigued by seedy '80s Times Square porn universe, goes to the Fulton Fish Market (!) to investigate. Pornography as formidable self-expression. Slow & steady movie; really interesting to see the old, pre-Midwestern mom infested Times Square and young, broke Luis Guzman. Lead actress is so horrible she's charming; it's like, why didn't they hire Scooby Doo & The Mystery Team?

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