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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathMulvey/Wollen

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from «complex» to «riddle» is also significant. While the notion of the cinema complex tends more in the direction of bridging contradiction, the riddle (etymologically: reading, deciphering, interpretation)—not of solutions - moves towards branching out and dissemination, that is, towards the heterogeneous and hybrid. This change in direction once again underscores the proximity of this project to deconstruction, as well as the emphasis on the significance of spectatorship as readership, promoted by feminist film theory.

4. The Film as Text Film

The film begins with a table of contents that encapsulates the numbered structure of the film in seven chapter titles in a single image. The spectators are greeted as readers and introduced to the order of a book, as if the film itself wanted to tell us in writing: this is a text film! This starting point is basically ‹borrowed› from Godard. In his article on Godard, Wollen discusses this chapter structure of a film as the first of the seven elements (one of the seven sins of the orthodox cinema) under the term «narrative


intransitivity» (Wollen, 1972/1982, p. 80f). Godard uses this strategy to introduce breaks in the narrative series. The first chapter of «Riddles of the Spinx»(«Flicking Pages») thematizes and illustrates the turning of pages. Not only in the introduction are we, the spectators, confronted with the order of writing, but also in the first part of the film. This is the completely silent part of the film, and seems as if in its silence it wanted to approach the medium of writing—or claim that the cinema, considering the colloquial use of «flick» for «film,» or «at the flicks» for «at the cinema,» derives from the turning of the pages as in a flick book. The flicking of pages lasts only one or two minutes, then stops at a page showing a photomontage of Greta Garbo as sphinx. With this, the first chapter ends and reveals the basic form of the Mulvey and Wollen’s cinematic conception. First of all, the basic elements of the cinema as movement (flicking) and standstill (still photograph) are exhibited in a paradigmatic way. Two different modes of reception correspond to this exhibition: fleeting spectatorship, which retroactively constructs a meaningful series of images, and the contemplative

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