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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathMulvey/Wollen

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within film itself, in what Mulvey describes as «freezing the plot,» as well as in extra-filmic contexts, as in advertising photography. In these levels of mediacy, Greta Garbo appears multiply distantiated, an apposite example of Godard/Wollen’s second counter-concept of «estrangement.» But what precisely is the meaning of this alienation effect, which Wollen, referring to Brecht, considers unnecessary of further comment? [14] In her essay, Mulvey commented extensively on the significance of the female star in the classical Hollywood cinema, and passionately called out for a challenge to this cinema and the destruction of its codes. [15] Of course, it is a common place that codes and/or images do not simply allow themselves to be destroyed. The analogy to iconoclasm, linked with the occasional revolutionary pathos in Mulvey’s writing, throws an additional light on the limited reception of her work. By looking at the use of Greta Garbo in the film «Riddles,» we can study Mulvey’s strategy of passionate detachment, which not only sought to liberate spectatorship and the camera, but also to work on the cinematographic sign. First of all, the image of the female star is retained. Mulvey’s other


cinema thus by no means disposes of the orthodox cinema, but instead consumes it in a specific way. This corresponds to her notion of «leaving the past without rejecting it.» This retaining of the female star is remarkable in historical perspective, since the star system of the orthodox cinema only existed into the 1960s. In addition, it is apparent that Mulvey, despite the masculine point of view thematized in her theoretical writing, envisioned a specifically feminine mode of cinema reception, particularly in her film work—with the metaphor of the sphinx. [16] Mulvey’s cinema thus uses that moment of the contemplation of the female star as a citation and marks it as a discourse. This discourse is confronted with other discourses, the sphinx, which evokes the Greek myth and implies Freud’s discourse of femininity, but also her own film project, which at its very beginning refers to textuality. To that extent, it is a layering or perhaps an opposition of discourses.

6. From Director to Actress to Spectator

It is the second chapter that first begins to make a radical leap. At least at first glance, the character of

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