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Riddles of the Sphinx (1977)

| Drama | 1977 (UK)
In this avant-garde classic, protagonist Louise deals with a change in her lifestyle in which she must learn to negotiate domestic life and motherhood.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dinah Stabb ...
Merdelle Jordine ...
Riannon Tise ...
Clive Merrison ...
Marie Green ...
Paula Melbourne ...
Rope Act
Crisse Trigger ...
Mary Maddox ...
Voice Off (voice)
Laura Mulvey ...
Herself / Voice Off
Marion Dain
Rosalind Delmer
Mary Dickenson
Rosamund Howe
Carole James
Claire Johnston


In this avant-garde classic, protagonist Louise deals with a change in her lifestyle in which she must learn to negotiate domestic life and motherhood.

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Release Date:

1977 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Referenced in Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

A classic of avant-garde feminist cinema
31 March 2005 | by (Portland, OR) – See all my reviews

Mulvey's Riddles of the Sphinx is as haunting as its title would suggest, a dizzy philosopher of a film, completely unique then and now.

The short consists of a number of short tableaux, each filmed "in the round", so to speak, by a 360 degree camera turn. Also short snippets of Mulvey herself wrestling with these "riddles" are interspersed in a few places.

The effect of these simple elements is striking--as are the colors of the cinematography. The 16mm film is as rich and deep as I've seen.

Her intent was to create an entirely new form of cinema, one made by women (hence the 360 degree shots instead of the very male, penetrating, zoom, for example). What she did create is ineffable and difficult, and important.

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