Riddles of the Sphinx


Time Out says

Mulvey and Wollen's second film places the simple story of a mother/child relationship in the wholly unexpected context of the myth of Oedipus' encounter with the Sphinx; its achievement is to make that context seem both logical and necessary. First off, the story: a broken marriage, an over-possessive mother, a growing awareness of feminist issues, a close female friend, and a newly questioning spirit of independence. Then, underpinning it, the myth, which introduces a set of basic questions about the female unconscious. The mixture of feminist politics and Freudian theory would be enough in itself to make the film unusually interesting, but various other elements make it actively compelling: the beautiful, hypnotic score by Mike Ratledge, the tantalising blend of visual, aural and literary narration in the telling of the story, and the firm intelligence that informs the film's unique and seductive overall structure.


Release details

92 mins

Cast and crew

Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen
Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen
Dinah Stabb
Merdelle Jordine
Rhiannon Tise
Clive Merrison
Marie Green
Paula Melbourne
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