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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathMulvey/Wollen

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this word three times as a different discourse, first by not translating it, second by placing it in standard italics and third adding the indexical parenthesis, «(Freud’s word),» thus expressively distinguishing this from the usual forms of citation. Wollen here demonstrates in an almost didactic way his theoretic understanding of a different cinema as an open, multiple voiced discourse. The text then follows with a list that Wollen ironically terms the seven cardinal virtues, or the seven mortal sins of the cinema. [6] These elements can then subsequently be found in «Riddles of the Sphinx». At the beginning of her essay, Mulvey also admits that alternative cinematic strategies do not emerge from the void. «There is no way in which we can produce an alternative out of the blue, but we can begin to make a break by examining patriarchy with the tools it provides, of which psychoanalysis is not the only but an important one. We are still separated by a great gap from important issues for the female unconscious which are scarcely relevant to phallocentric theory: the sexing of the female infant and her relationship to the symbolic, the sexually mature woman as non-mother, maternity outside the


signification of the phallus, the vagina […]» (Mulvey 1975/1986, p. 199). [7] In Mulvey as well, the link between counter-strategy and deconstruction can be found at first in its relationship to psychoanalysis. Mulvey’s work of displacement then disseminates the singular femininity of Freud into multiple questions. That is, she adopts Freud’s term «the riddle of femininity» and derives from it an open-ended list of questions, which in the end are held together in the film’s title as «Riddles of the Spinx»(plural!).

3. The Cinema Complex

A look at the theoretical writings preceding the film’s realization might provide an initial impression of what Mulvey and Wollen intended with «Riddles of the Sphinx». In this project, they no longer sought «simply» to make a film, but rather at the same time also to thematize the «counter-cinema.» Thus, the conceptual approach is already set at the level of a «meta-film.» At the same time, Mulvey and Wollen not only merely focus on the traditions of avant-garde film (that would be a contradiction in itself). Instead, they envision the continuation of the story, that is, a «liberation of the

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