Emerging from the avant-garde underground of the 1970s and ’80s, Bette Gordon made her mark with stylishly subversive investigations of sexuality and gender roles that invert genre expectations with their feminist themes. Following a string of groundbreaking experimental shorts—including the structuralist landmark THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, codirected with James Benning—Gordon made her narrative feature debut with VARIETY, a noir-tinged study of voyeurism, pornography, and fantasy that turns the conventional male gaze back on itself. Fifteen years later, Gordon followed it up with LUMINOUS MOTION, a similarly provocative, dreamlike thriller about a mother and son who share an unsettling bond.
Directed by Bette Gordon and James Benning • 1975 • United States
One of the major works of the structuralist film movement of the 1970s is a richly revealing portrait of Vietnam-era America as seen through the windshield of the filmmakers’ car while on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles.