Nan Goldin (US)

Screening: Bette Gordon—Variety (1983)

08 March


08 March

Friday, 12:30-2:10pm (AEST)


ACMI [i]
Federation Square, Melbourne
Daily, 10am – 5pm


Wheelchair access


Full $9 ACMI Member $7

Take a trip to Nan Goldin’s New York City with director Bette Gordon’s femme film noir.

In a grungy 80s New York City, aspiring writer Christine (Sandy McLeod) is in desperate need of work and is given a tip by her friend Nan (played by photographer Nan Goldin) that Times Square porn cinema Variety is looking for a ticket seller. The reserved Christine takes the job and soon finds herself drawn into the cinema’s seedy underbelly; watching the films in her break, quoting the dialogue verbatim to her puzzled boyfriend and taking a particular interest in a mysterious rich patron who frequents the cinema. It’s not long before her voyeuristic interests in the cinema and its denizens develop into full-blown obsession.

A crowning film in the DIY No Wave scene of New York in the 80s, director Bette Gordon’s Variety is a who’s who of the US indie film and art scene. Grunge writer Kathy Acker contributed to the screenplay; regular Jim Jarmusch collaborators Tom DiCillo and John Lurie shot the film and provided the score respectively; and New Queer Cinema pioneer, producer Christine Vachon, worked on the film as a production assistant.

Nan Goldin, who plays a version of herself, is a central force in Variety, which was filmed at the Times Square bar where she had once worked. The film captures the New York scene around Goldin and its neon-lit aesthetic is very much in tune with her own intimate still portraits of friends and lovers. Throughout production, Goldin captured photography on set in a series that was eventually published in 2009.

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01–24 March