Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathMulvey/Wollen

icon: previous page

gaze, which more closely resembles a slow deciphering. At the same time, the elements that Mulvey uncovers in her analysis of Classical Hollywood film also appear: on the one hand, narration, which she aligns with depth and the male hero, and on the other hand contemplation, which she associates with superficiality and the female star. «Mainstream film neatly combined spectacle and narrative […] The presence of woman is an indispensable element of spectacle in normal narrative film, yet her visual presence tends to work against the development of a story line to freeze the flow of action in moments of erotic contemplation» (Mulvey 1975/1986, p. 203). This gender difference in «orthodox cinema» (Wollen) is to be revealed and to be freed «into dialectics» (Mulvey). The first chapter of «Riddles of the Spinx» serves as a minimalist version or prototype of this critical endeavor.

5. Retaining the Female Star

While the gesture of page-turning is a familiar trope of avant-garde film (not only in the work of Jean-Luc Godard, but also that of Hollis Frampton, Heinz Emigholz and others), the static representation of


female film stars is a widespread motif, for example in the pop art of the 1960s. The image of Garbo that Mulvey and Wollen use to look back at the female star of the orthodox cinema, [11] was an entry in a contest held by the MGM publicity department, entitled: «Describe Garbo!» The photomontage thus already delivers a received and commented image as the product of the creativity of a moviegoer or fan, subsequently printed in various publications. [12] This prelude staged by Mulvey and Wollen in «Riddles of the Spinx»using Greta Garbo allows the three different cinema traditions, as Wollen conceived of them in the cinema complex, once again to be recapitulated and removed layer by layer. First of all, the photomontage serves as the equivalent for the means of the artistic avant-garde (the continuation of which Wollen saw in the Coop movement). [13] Secondly, Wollen and Mulvey's (indirect) citation of a film star in the film can be compared to Godard’s counter-strategies—Godard repeatedly worked with real stars or directors in his avant-garde films. Thirdly, the static image of the female star at the base of these layers belongs to the repertoire of the Classical Hollywood cinema, both

icon: next page