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Riddles of the Sphinx (DVD + Blu-ray)

Price: £10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Riddles of the Sphinx (DVD + Blu-ray) + The Adventures of Prince Achmed (DVD + Blu-ray)
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Product details

  • Actors: Dinah Stabb, Merdel Jordine, Rhiannon Tise, Clive Merrison
  • Directors: Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Sep 2013
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,642 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


A Film by Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen

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).

Newly mastered in High Definition, Riddles of the Sphinx is presented here with a number of essential extras, including a feature-length Laura Mulvey audio commentary, and Mulvey and Wollen's first film collaboration Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons.

Special features

  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • Newly recorded feature-length audio commentary with director Laura Mulvey and academic Winfried Pauleit
  • Laura Mulvey in Conversation (2013, 15 mins): the filmmaker and academic discusses Riddles of the Sphinx
  • Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons (Peter Wollen and Laura Mulvey, 1974, 98 mins): trail-blazing avant-garde film exploring the image of the Amazonian woman in myth and popular culture
  • Fully illustrated booklet featuring new essays by Sophie Mayer, Laura Mulvey, Rob Young, and complete film credits

UK | 1977 | colour | English Language, with optional English hard-of-hearing subtitles | 91 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1

Disc 1: BD50 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital mono audio (192kbps)

Region 0 PAL DVD
Region free Blu-ray

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Notts on 21 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The DVD offers everything you'd expect from it. I haven't watched the Bluray but the whole set is high quality. I bought the DVD because I was interested in Mulvey theoretical writing and wanted to write a bit of coursework about her film. She made it together with her partner Peter Wollen, who wrote about Godard's 'counter-cinema' that it includes 'displeasure, boredom, dead or empty time, provocation, irritation', in contrast to the 'pleasure' of the dominant (Hollywood) cinema, that he sees as a 'function of a larger consumer culture, one drug among many which lulls, occupies, and pacifies the masses.' Mulvey's and Wollen's 'Riddles of the Sphinx' can be seen as this kind of counter-cinema, too. It is very much worth watching and offers a lot to think about, but if you want a relaxing movie night, you might want to choose another film.
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