31 March 2005 | flannelgraph
A classic of avant-garde feminist cinema
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.