Representing the festival’s selection from the United States, Variety was one of the nine films highlighted in the festival's Treasures and Curiosities section, which reminds audiences of the importance of immersing themselves in often little-known yet indispensable films. The section is also meant to highlight the consistent and active work of film libraries and archives from around the world to restore and bring classic cinema to life.
Variety follows Christine, who works as a cashier at a New York porn theatre. Little by little, she becomes fascinated by the movies and the customers.
Gordon also presented a 4K restoration of Variety at the festival. The restoration of the film will open theatrically in France in November 2021. As part of the ceremony in her honor, Gordon had her name engraved on the Filmmakers Wall in Lyon, which includes such esteemed directors as Agnes Varda, Werner Herzog, David Lynch, and many more.
A pioneer in American Independent Cinema, Bette Gordon is known for her bold explorations of themes related to sexuality, violence and power. Variety premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was referred to as a "Feminist Vertigo—a daring departure into the dark, obsessional world of female fantasy." Her subsequent films have been screened theatrically in the US and abroad, as well as in all the major film festivals, including Berlin, Toronto, Locarno, Tribeca, London, São Paulo, Lisbon, and Warsaw.
Her work is featured in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, The Centre Georges Pompidou, MoMA and Anthology Film Archives. Her films include Variety (1983), The Drowning (2016), and Handsome Harry (2009), among others.