Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathMulvey/Wollen

icon: previous page

of a two-year-old daughter. Louise leaves her husband, Chris. We are told of her everyday life, her career, her situation as a single mother, and her relationship to her daughter Anna. Finally, Louise moves in together with her best friend. The structure of this chapter is quite strict: Louise’s story is told in intertitles, that is, the true narration is limited to a written text, scripted on a consecutive series of written boards. Inserted between the individual text boards are thirteen 360-degree camera pans (see excerpt). These shots break up the text flow and show Louise’s life in different places: kitchen, daughter’s bedroom, entrance to the apartment, nursery school, workplace, her workplace (a telephone switchboard), cafeteria, traffic, shopping mall, playground, her mother’s garden (presentation of the artist Mary Kelly in the editing room of her ex-husband), a friend’s room, the Egyptian Hall of the British Museum.

8. The Liberated Camera

Mulvey established that a skillful combination of narration and spectacle forms the basis of Hollywood film (Mulvey 1975/1986, 203). The structure of the


fourth chapter of «Riddles of the Spinx» provides an alternative, opposite combination of these elements. The usual narrative flow of the images is reduced to one text. The camera pans cut up this text. The contemplative moments of «orthodox» cinema, limited to the female star, mutate into the true audiovisual design of strictly formal camera work. The pure representation of this camera view is given more value than the narration. Nevertheless, the formalist camera pans are positioned in such a way that they are at the same time able to capture some essential elements of the plot. In the third shot, for example, Louise is left by her husband, Chris. During the pan of the camera, one can first see him walking in the upper floor of the house, coming back down with a few things, then standing in the doorway of the house, saying good bye to Louise, finally placing his things in the trunk of a car and driving off, while Louise stands at the window with Anna on her arm (see film stills). The «liberated» camera in «Riddles of the Spinx» thus no longer turns to isolated erotic objects (like in Hollywood film), the function of which is subordinated to the narration. Instead, it places the representation of the woman; in

icon: next page