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Zizek! (2006)

Slavoj Zizek , Astra Taylor  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Slavoj Zizek
  • Directors: Astra Taylor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FII32Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,277 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zizek!" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Additional interviews and lecture excerpts
  • Slavoj Zizek on Boston cable news show Nitebeat
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Zizek Easter Egg
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • "Guilty Pleasures: Slavoj Zizek," from FILM COMMENT magazine

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The author of works on subjects as wide-ranging as Alfred Hitchcock, 9/11, opera, Christianity, Lenin and David Lynch, Slovenian cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek is one of the most important--and outrageous--philosophers working today. Directed by Astra Taylor, this captivating, erudite documentary explores the eccentric personality and esoteric work of this incomparable academic and writer who has been called everything from "the Elvis of cultural theory" to "a one person culture mulcher."

- Deleted scenes
- Additional interviews and lecture excerpts
- Slavoj Zizek on Boston cable news show Nitebeat
- Original theatrical trailer
- Zizek Easter Egg
- English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Guilty Pleasures: Slavoj Zizek from Film Comment magazine

Though focusing exclusively on the contemporary Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, as an eccentric individual prone to brilliant ranting, Zizek! presents an interesting paradox: that of the documentary filmmaker’s relationship to the subject. Twenty-seven year old director Astra Taylor, with her film debut, has managed to inject ample footage of Zizek ruminating on his couch, talking in the cab, in the park, and in lecture halls with her obvious crush on the man known for bringing Lacanian psychoanalytical theory to the masses. In the tradition of unlikely love stories, i.e. Harold & Maude, Astra follows Zizek around with a camera for a day-in-the-life portrait. During personal moments, Zizek generously displays his underwear drawer, for example, as he gives a lengthy explanation of how socialist/communist houses should remain tidy and sparse. During more lofty conceptual moments, or in academic settings, Zizek explains his thoughts on Lacan, Freud, Marx, and Stalin. Like the "direct cinema" of the Maysles Brothers and Errol Morris, Zizek! relies upon the inherent character of its subject for entertainment value, though the film will definitely help newcomers grasp Zizek's complex philosophical tenets. In this, Zizek! is not only an experimental love letter, but also a film that will give one's brain a serious workout. --Trinie Dalton

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Those who like theory but don't take the whole theory game all that seriously will be in the best position to enjoy this.
Those rigorously trained theoriticans who take their theory very seriously will probably be less inclined to just kick back and enjoy this, and more inclined to find faultlines within Zizek's thinking.

Zizek acknowledges that many expect more from him than he has to give. He admits that leftists in the market for political formulas/solutions are invariably disappointed with his lectures, but, in his own defense, he states that it is not a philosophers job to find solutions but to examine the kinds of questions that we ask: ie what is truth?

I think one of the appeals of Zizek is that he is an old school marxist at a time when marxism is no longer fashionable nor viable. And theres something romantic and/or nostalgic about this and it gives him an underdog appeal. At a time when many thinkers have abandon trying to imagine an alternative to liberal capitalism, Zizek is a kind of old style revivalist. His common folk appeal is hard to resist. If you are the kind of person that likes a bit of theory now and then but is turned off by a lot of its elitist tendencies, well, Zizek is a breath of fresh eccentrically charged air.

What Zizek really excels at doing is critiquing the way late phase captialism shapes the public imagination. If capitalism trades in commodity fetsishism and fantasies of unfettered market freedoms and unlimited horizons for liberal subjects, then Zizek sees it as his job to show that this fantasy is just that, a fantasy, and that late capitalist ideology is still ideology.

Zizek has an obvious distaste for the postmodern and an obvious nostalgia for the world that existed before postmodernism.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brief correction September 16, 2006
By poum23
While this should not be understood as an apology for anything Zizek proclaims in the documentary, something he would by the way surely reject, it seems necessary to make a correction to the categorization of Zizek himself as a Stalinist.

One of the things that bugged Zizek most about making this documentary (or so he says at least) is the general attitude with which the viewer approaches the film, namely attempting to search for the private, nice person behind the theorist Zizek. We watch the film and expect to come out of it with some convenient, intimate truths about Zizek that then form the basis of us trying to relate to him. As Zizek says time and again in the film, he would rather be seen as a monster and actively tries to frustrate the viewer looking for paparazzi-info on his person. Certain sequences and items in the film were hence deliberately placed to create this effect, playing with the expectations of the reader. Some of those scenes include: Zizek in bed (where we can cleary see how he ridicules the sensationalist-tabloidist gaze of the viewer), the toilet arrangement and, importantly, the Stalin picture and its discussion.

Zizek surely cannot be characterized as a theorist who uncomplicatedly embraces Stalinism. He is, however, known to give it serious, often controversial consideration many people shy away from in order to arrive at a serious examination of the potential for totalitarianism in times of neoliberalism. The film expresses this quite nicely at times and is, purely for that reason, definitely worth seeing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great point of contact with Zizek March 8, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Watch the movie for a new understanding when reading Zizek's books. In short, Zizek's writings are more accessible to me for having experienced the human Zizek in this movie. Though he says in the film "I am not human; I am a monster," the human Zizek is still apparent. For me that is important. In "Good Will Hunting", the Matt Damon character claims that one does not need Harvard when a Boston Public Library Card is enough. I find this false--we must be engaged by more than paper and ink. To encounter the author in bodily form, as we do in this film (with Zizek in the role of pedagogue), touches the learner more profoundly. Having voice, emotion, facial expressions at my disposal when I read Zizek greatly enhances the reading.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alot of fun! January 24, 2007
I loved this movie! If you want to watch a theoretical mad-hatter at play, you must get a copy of this. Zizek announces to us what we've all thought at one time or another but were afraid to voice. Love him or hate him, agree or disagree, you will not walk away from this movie - or one of his texts - without being both provoked and entertained (not a small feet in our turgid times). I especially enjoyed his playful yet honest jabs at deconstruction. Zizek is a must read/see in our perverse culture of late capitalism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Thought Provoking, and Absurd July 28, 2010
After reading several of his books I was exited to check this dvd out from the libabry. Not suprisingly Zizek is long winded, rambles, and jumps from one topic to the next with few indications he is transitioning thoughts. His statements will generate everything from total agreement (his analysis of the paradoxes of postmodernism is particularly on point) to total jaw dropping shock (when he advocates the state to execute the elderly in the deleted scenes). However, if you know anything about Zizek most of his statements will just generate a bit of a laugh.

He only touches down briefly on a series of topics so the documentary works well as an introduction to the esoteric philosopher. I wonder at times why he fascinates me so much, seeing how I disagree with a good deal of his work, but the documentary made me realize it's because he challenges me at times. Whatever your political/philosophical stances are you will certainly be challenged by the "Most Dangerous Philosopher of the West."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting (Pretty Good)
This was a pretty good movie. Definitely interesting. I watched it as a teen and returned to it recently. Definitely nostalgic. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Victor M. Dasilva II
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun to watch but jumbled
This is interesting and makes the most of his eccentricities.
But the movie the "reality of the virtual" lets you really hear him talk about his ideas more clearly
Published 21 months ago by David H.
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Subject - Terrible Movie
The documentary was incompetently constructed. There is no desire to allow Zizek to make any sustained coherent statement, rather we are supposed to be "dazzled" by his intellect. Read more
Published on February 1, 2012 by Hans Arp
5.0 out of 5 stars Zizek are smart
I bought this movie about a year ago and I have been loving Slavoj Zizek ever since. He is a very intelligent, somewhat scatterbrained, philosopher with some really original... Read more
Published on August 17, 2009 by P. Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars There's no business...
Slavoj Zizek (apparently an academic rock star, though I'd never heard of him before this movie) is a documentary filmmaker's dream. Read more
Published on April 23, 2009 by William McNeill
3.0 out of 5 stars "Being There" starring Zizek?
Perhaps I'm just not up to speed here but Mr. Zizek(!) seems to have everything to say and nothing to say all at the same time. Read more
Published on October 17, 2007 by Crowhurst
5.0 out of 5 stars don't take it all too seriously
there is a trap here in taking Zizek and his writings too seriously for he has no answers just like anyone else, he does have however the skill to clarify where no one has before,... Read more
Published on October 8, 2006 by scarecrow
3.0 out of 5 stars Stalinist rants
Zizek! is a fascinating representative of a fading breed -the leftist intellectual. The Slovenian writer Slavoj Zizek is Old Left all the way -an unapologetic Stalinist who... Read more
Published on August 7, 2006 by Lleu Christopher
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