Still from Variety by Bette Gordon

Professor Bette Gordon's film 'Variety' Screens at The Roxy as Part of 'ThrillHer'

September 20, 2018

ThrillHer, a series of female-directed thrillers curated by Film Professor Bette Gordon, will screen at The Roxy Cinema throughout the month of September. The series will include films by directors such as Kelly Reichardt, Josephine Decker and Susanna Nicchiarelli along with Gordon’s own film Variety (1983). Bette will appear for a Q&A after the screening on September 20.


Gordon started her filmmaking career in the 1980’s and became an integral part of the New York film scene after moving to the city from the midwest. According to the Roxy’s website, Gordon’s debut feature, Variety, “featured an impressive group of downtown artists including writer Kathy Acker, composer John Lurie, cinematographer Tom DiCillo, photographer Nan Goldin, actors Spalding Gray and Luis Guzmán.” Some of Gordon’s recent films include Handsome Harry (2009) starring Steve Buscemi and Jamey Sheridan and The Drowning (2016) starring Columbia College alumna Julia Stiles '05, Josh Charles and John C. McGinley.


In a recent interview for the Roxy’s website, Gordon speaks about how filmmaking has changed since the 80’s but some challenges remain the same. “It’s not as difficult to make a film anymore in terms of expense—you know, it used to look like, “Oh my god, I need a camera… I’ve got to rent it… Film is expensive… Processing…” That’s no longer true. Everybody has iPhones and people are making iPhone films. Getting equipment and being able to make something very low budget? You see it everywhere. So, it isn’t about having the means to do it; you can get groups of friends together, which is what we did in the eighties. But what has always been difficult and is still difficult in a different way is: “How do you get your work seen?”


At Columbia, Professor Gordon teaches Directing and advises graduate directing theses.