Sunday, December 2nd & Tuesday, December 11th: ‘Riddles of the Sphinx’

Riddles of the Sphinx
Spectacle Theater (124 S. 3rd St., Brooklyn)
10pm both days
$5

Laura Mulvey, author of the seminal essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” helped to establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study. With Peter Wollen, she directed one of the most visually stimulating, theoretically rigorous films to emerge from the 1970s.

Riddles of the Sphinx is a landmark fusion of feminism and formal experimentation that seeks to create a non-sexist film language. Its title figure, the legendary creature of antiquity, terrorized Thebes and self-destructed only after Oedipus correctly answered her riddle. Invoking and challenging traditional interpretations of the Oedipus story as a movement from matriarchal culture to patriarchal order, the film also probes representation in film itself. The central narrative section, about Louise, a middle-class woman, and her four-year-old daughter Ana, is an inquiry into the arbitrary nature of conventional film techniques that captures Louise’s struggles with motherhood in a patriarchal society.

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