The feminist director's answer to anti-porn feminists
There is no doubt that feminism is what holds this movie together.
Bette Gordon made this movie in the height of the feminist debate over pornography. She doesn't endorse or condemn porn in this movie.
"Variety" depicts a woman who uses porn as a tool of self-exploration.
The movie is also a spoof of film noir. Gordon has fun with the genre by changing the sex of the main character to female. She lets her heroine play the amateur sleuth, which is traditionally a male character.
Unlike many genre movies in which women are terrorized, there is no victim in "Variety." Gordon contends that pornography doesn't necessarily make women victims. It is so refreshing that Gordon never puts her heroine at the site of male violence.
Gordon succeeds in keeping the viewer in suspense till the very end of the movie.
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