Variety, Bette Gordon, 96’, USA / UK,  FRG,  ZDF 4.1.1984, OV with German subtitles

Bette Gordon’s second feature film of 1983 marks, on the one hand, Das kleine Fernsehspiel’s continued support of feminist projects and, on the other, the editorial department’s interest in American Independents emerging beyond Hollywood. The story of a New York writer on a job hunt, who gets hired at a porn cinema and starts spying on a customer in some kind of reverse voyeurism, is a clever parable about gender relations of seeing and being seen: “I’m investigating erotic desire,” says the director, “I’m looking at men looking at women.” The film is a who’s who of the New York art scene: Kathy Acker wrote the screenplay, Nan Goldin plays a guest role, the music is by John Lurie.

Bette Gordon (*1950) is an American film director and a representative of American Independent Cinema. Her films have been screened in Cannes, Toronto and Berlin. For Das kleine Fernsehspiel, she made Variety (1984), which was also screened in the Berlinale Forum, as well as an episode of the feminist series Seven Women, Seven Sins (1987).