Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British ... See full summary »
Based on the true story of Valerie Solanas who was a 60s radical preaching hatred toward men in her "Scum" manifesto. She wrote a screenplay for a film that she wanted Andy Warhol to ... See full summary »
Following her boyfriend's suicide, supermarket clerk Morvern Callar passes off his unpublished novel as her own. With the money her boyfriend left for his funeral, she leaves Scotland for ... See full summary »
Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Mille is a... See full summary »
Olga, Masha, and Irina Prozoroff lead lonely and purposeless lives following the death of their father who has commanded the local army post. Olga attempts to find satisfaction in teaching ... See full summary »
Jacquot Demy is a little boy at the end of the thirties. His father owns a garage and his mother is a hairdresser. The whole family lives happily and likes to sing and to go to the movies. ... See full summary »
As Laura Mulvey's lasting legacy has been her theorization of a feminist avant-garde that eschews visual pleasure, it's hardly surprising that her famous 1977 experiment Riddles of the Sphinx is a bit difficult to digest. I certainly had a hard time watching it. But even though the film consistently tried my attention and nerves, I cannot deny that it's a wholly original work. And the more I think about it, the more I respect it, and the more--this is a bit crazy--the more I think I might like to watch it again.
The most immediately intriguing stylistic component is the slow, rotating cinematography of the film's fourth chapter. By placing a camera in an environment and confining it to a mechanical 360 degree rotation, Mulvey and Wollen offer a deliberate point of view that maintains visual interest without conforming to any traditional understanding of the filmic "gaze." This technique is most effectively employed in a scene that takes place in moving traffic, to a distinctly Children of Menesque effect; its a compelling demonstration of the spectatorial pleasure to be derived from cinematic skill as opposed to voyeurism and scopophilia.
Elsewhere, Mulvey and Wollen continue to push the boundaries of how we engage with cinema--I can say truthfully that I was far more invested in seeing two water drops reach the end of a maze than I would have been in characters chasing MacGuffins. I can't promise that you'll enjoy Riddles of the Sphinx in any traditional sense, but I can wholeheartedly recommend it to any filmmakers or artists interested in exploring new forms of expression. -TK 9/23/10
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