Riddles of Marc Karlin and the Motion Analyser Projector

Here is a fascinating excerpt from the audio commentary track on the British Film Institute’s Dual Format Edition of Riddles Of The Sphinx (Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, 1977). In this sequence, Mulvey recalls the technique of re-filming found footage material using a motion analyser projector borrowed from Marc Karlin while he was filming 36′ to 77′ (known then as Nightcleaners Part 2) with the Berwick Street Film Collective.

36to77 Via www.studycollection.org.uk

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 17.06.05

Avant-Garde Film: Motion Studies by Scott MacDonald (Cambridge Film Classics:1993)


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. BFI

This exclusive extract was produced by Catherine Grant for the scholarly website FILM STUDIES FOR FREE with the kind permission of Laura Mulvey and the BFI in September 2013.



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