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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathMulvey/Wollen

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shot («Laura speaks») thus undergoes a temporal extension in which the actress becomes «alive.» The theoretician Mulvey reads a kind of a sphinx manifesto, and her image alternates (analogous to the photomontage) with images of Greek or Egyptian sphinxes. »The sphinx is outside of the city gates, she challenges the culture of the city, with its order of kinship and its order of knowledge, a culture and a political system which assign women a subordinate place […] We live in a society ruled by the father, in which the place of the mother is suppressed. Motherhood and how to live it, or not to live it, lie at the root of the dilemma. And meanwhile, the Sphinx can only speak with a voice apart, a voice off […] which represents not the voice of truth, not an answering voice, but its opposite: a questioning voice, a voice asking a riddle.« [19] It is not the words of this manifesto that almost twenty-five years after the film’s completion still leave a strong impression. Instead it is the living presence of Laura Mulvey on the cinema screen in a sold out Kino Arsenal in Berlin on April 5, 2001 (at the conference «Eine andere Kunst, ein anderes Kino» («A Different Art, A Different Cinema»)


that left a strong impression on me. This living representation is lost in a reproduction of a film still. Significantly, it is also not available during the later viewing of the film on an editing table. Why does the presence of this theoretician on the cinema screen cause a feeling that touches me, whereby I usually only perceive «real» female stars distantly as fading discourses? Surely, the «concretism» of the cinema in sound and image provides some elements of excess for which I am particularly receptive; [20] for example, the «sound of Britishness,» her reserved articulation or the daisies on her blouse, which due to the red tint of the now aging film seem singularly distant and auratic. It is possible that they—or I—succeeded in «redeeming» in her screen presence a myth and a form of visual pleasure less bound to a cinematographic code? This visual pleasure is bound instead to physical traces passed on from generation to generation, the direct access to these impressions having been made unattainable with the historicization of the Classical Hollywood cinema. We can also read this chapter in a third way, focusing on the level of spectator/filmgoer. Here, at issue again is a connection that constructs an

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