September 20, 2018
Variety (35mm) Q&A with director Bette GordonSeptember 20, 2018
Thriller / 1983 / 100 minutes
Rising from the thriving NYC indie film scene of the early 80s, director Bette Gordon and writer Kathy Acker’s stunning collaboration Variety may be the first true example of a feminist neo noir. Set in the gritty streets of pre-Giuliani Times Square, Variety follows a young Midwest transplant and aspiring author (Sandy McLeod) whose employment in a porno theater leads to her strange sexual awakening and obsession with a wealthy, Mafia-connected patron. More than just an exploration of women’s inner sexual fantasies – though it is that as well – Gordon and Acker’s film deftly probes Hollywood’s exploitation of women, achieving this through sound and dialog rather than crass voyeurism and landing on a rare, raw account of the female gaze. Set to the pulse of an evocative score from New York’s avant-garde jazz master John Lurie. With Luis Guzman and Will Patton.
Night MovesSeptember 20, 2018
Thriller / 2014 / 113 minutes
One of the most important women filmmakers of the past decade, Kelly Reichardt’s 2014 Night Moves is another strong entry in her filmography, delivering on the promise of earlier works Wendy and Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff. The story of a trio of radical environmentalists (Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard, all superb actors operating at peak form) who hatch an elaborate plot to blow up a dam they believe is harming the environment, Reichardt is more concerned with character study than taking a hard stand on the cause that concerns them; with painter’s eye for framing and detail the director finds all she needs on her actor’s faces, allowing barely perceptible changes in expression to tell the deeper story of soul-wrenching doubt lurking beneath the strongest of convictions. With Alia Shawkat, Logan Miller and James LeGros.