Harpur Cinema Presents: RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX
Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, Great Britain, 1977, 92 min
Friday, March 24, and Sunday, March 26: Lecture Hall 6, 7:30 PM. Doors open at 7:00 pm. $4 Single Admission.
Laura Mulvey, an author of the seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, helped to establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study. With Peter Wollen, she directed one of the most visually stimulating, theoretically rigorous films to emerge from the 1970s. Riddles of the Sphinx is a landmark fusion of feminism and formal experimentation that seeks to create a non-sexist film language. Its title figure, the legendary creature of antiquity, terrorized Thebes and self-destructed only after Oedipus correctly answered her riddle. Invoking and challenging traditional interpretations of the Oedipus story as a movement from matriarchal culture to the patriarchal order, the film also probes representation in the film itself. The central narrative section, about Louise, a middle-class woman, and her four-year-old daughter Ana, is an inquiry into the arbitrary nature of conventional film techniques that captures Louise’s struggles with motherhood in a patriarchal society.