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Riddles of the Sphinx DVD+Blu-ray

Peter Wollen, Laura Mulvey, 1977


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Film Details

Directed by Peter Wollen, Laura Mulvey

Produced in 1977

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - British Film

Film Description

Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen's visually accomplished and intellectually rigorous Riddles of the Sphinx is one of the most important avant-garde films to have emerged from Britain during the 1970s.

The second collaboration between Mulvey and Wollen, both of whom are recognised as seminal figures in the field of film theory, Riddles of the Sphinx explores issues of female representation, the place of motherhood within society and the relationship between mother and daughter. Composed of a number of discrete sections, many of which are shot as continuous circular pans, the film takes place in a range of domestic and public spaces, shot in locations which include Malcolm LeGrice's kitchen and Stephen Dwoskin's bedroom.

The film's ground-breaking electronic score, by The Soft Machine's Mike Ratledge, was composed on synthesisers which were developed in collaboration with Denys Irving (the man behind the mysterious and controversial 1970s band Lucifer).

DVD+Blu-ray Details

Certificate: PG

Publisher: BFI

Length: 92 mins

Format: DVD+Blu-ray Colour

Region: 2

Released: 23rd September 2013

Cat No: BFIB1176

DVD+Blu-ray Extras

  • 2 discs
  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • Mastered to High Definition from materials preserved at the BFI National Archive
  • Newly recorded Laura Mulvey audio commentary
  • Newly filmed interview with Laura Mulvey
  • Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons (Peter Wollen and Laura Mulvey, 1974, 99 mins): trail-blazing avant-garde film exploring the image of the Amazonian woman in myth
  • Extensive booklet with new essays and complete film credits.

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