Director: Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen

92 minutes, U.K., 1977, Colour, Blu-ray

This screening will be introduced by writer, lecturer and researcher Maeve Connolly (IADT).

In conjunction with this month’s season exploring representations of women on screen, the IFI and EFC present Riddles of the Sphinx (1977). 

Made two years after the publication of Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, the film represents what she describes as a ‘transfer’ of both her own and Peter Wollen’s theoretical ideas ‘into a visual form’. With spellbinding music from Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge and adopting techniques like the 360-degree pan to undermine the notion of a single point of view, Riddles of the Sphinx is key to the British avant-garde film movement of the ‘70s and remains a mesmerising, intellectually stimulating piece of work. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

This event is part of Beyond the Bechdel Test, our season throughout July focusing on the work of directors who have explored the complex ties between women that are an integral aspect of the films’ narratives, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel who introduced the idea in her 1985 comic strip. 

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