The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
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DVD Special Features:
- HD transfer, enhanced for widescreen viewing
- Q&A with Slavoj Zizek and Sophie Fiennes
- U.S. theatrical trailer
- Optional subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SDH)
The World's Most Unlikely Movie Star!
-The New York Times
A riveting and often hilarious demonstration of the Slovenian philosopher's uncanny ability to turn movies inside out and accepted notions on their head.
-Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
Top Customer Reviews
No, this wasn't an epiphany of the sort you can easily explain to others. But where Zizek shines for me is in each individual example. Most of them ring true in a way that you can feel broadening your perspective on THAT particular example. And while his examples didn't really add up to a big WOW for me at the end of the film, I'm not sure critical theorists even aim for that, as their "answer" could be taken for propaganda and clutched as"truth" like any other message of propaganda.
Maybe I'm too dim to see the big picture behind critical theorists like Zizek, Benjamin, and Derrida, but I feel delightfully challenged by their efforts, one by one, and feel that this movie reminded me to look beneath the obvious message of pop culture iconography and idealism for more subtle dynamics of control and subversion.
Don't be scared off by any of this as the opening segment praises the 1988 John Carpenter movie, "THEY LIVE" for it's astute critique on consumer culture. And he's right! I can't wait to dig up this old film as it appears to be excellent social satire made palatable with a monster movie approach.
Look, if you're a PhD student this might be too remedial or lightweight for you to use for your thesis, but as a layman who seeks out new philosophical ideas to expand my perception of the world, I loved it.
I don't want the answer Zizek doesn't provide; I want new tools to peel the onion of existence back a layer or two and figure out more from there. I was not let down.
It's a hilarious treatise on how Hollywood expresses important cultural political ideals through how characters move through plots, and the discussion is fast, funny, and furious. It is a thinking man's treatise on cinema, and what's fun is they are using populist pieces rather than underground cinema that often has its own political agenda on display. No long looks at My Dinner with Andre, rather here we have analysis of the big summer blockbusters on what they do to our state of mind, psychoanalysis, and dreams.
DVD is a great way to experience this film, especially with a booklet that provides references to the films as well as statements from the director and production notes. Also included as an extra feature is a half-hour discussion with Sophie and Slavoj at a museum screening, which serves to explain the genesis of the project as well as provide more rants and raves. The visual presentation from HD elements is fine, although often the quality is dependent on the age of a film they are talking about. This is a talking-head-interspersed-with-clips kind of affair. Sound is a simple English stereo with subtitles for those who are hard of hearing or have difficulty following the stream-of-thought Slovenian shouting off the screen at them. The DVD is a great presentation, and even a step-up from the museum screenings that most people attended to first see this movie.
The Pervert's Guide to Ideology is a smart and playful ride that explores cinema and culture through unlikely avenues.Read more ›
Some of his remarks are spot on and should be delightful to most viewers -- for example, his discussion of Ode to Joy and its role in Clockwork Orange, as well as Coke advertisements. Other remarks, especially towards the end of the movie, were not really comprehensible to me, and he was jumping around a bit too fast for me to understand. And of course there is his obsession with the term "capitalism", which unsurprisingly becomes more all-encompassing as he applies it to more and more things. But the viewer should watch this with some sympathy, for as Zizek possibly understands, the pleasure of overcoming one's resistance to leaving the comfortable confines of one's own ideology is superior to the pleasure of shutting out all resistance to that ideology. All in all, this is a good film to rent at least, if you like actual critical theory instead of faux critical theory.
Most entertaining is Zizek putting himself in recreated sets of the films he uses as examples, in costume. He appears in Jaws, Titanic, Seconds, Dark Knight, West Side Story, Taxi, Sound of Music and numerous others that he employs to dismantle the foundations of modern society. He shows the undermining of justice, of authority, of religion, of The Big Other - and uses them to show that they actually demonstrate the very opposite of what they appear to stand for. That's an accomplishment.
There is plenty to disagree with. Zizek comes up with a theory that love and couples are incidental to the stories in films. But there would be no film industry without the love interest, the struggle to consummate a relationship, the sacrifice, the betrayal, and all the other mechanisms that make film stories attractive to audiences. You almost want to stop the film and call him up and say - how can you say that?
It is a long film that covers a lot of territory. But it covers it entertainingly on several levels: the explanation from within the set, the clips from the films themselves, and the linking of them to make his points. If this lecture were a book, the pages would be soaked with highlighter.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too brief ... but it is pure Zizek and somewhat more accessible than most things he does. Still very twitchy.Published 4 months ago by tim Fitzmaurice
Intellectual snobbery. An anti-ideological ideology that provides little wisdom but loads of gibberish.Published 10 months ago by Jackson Pinney
Zizek is never at a loss for something to say, but the problem is he doesn't really say anything. Fancy words and droning theories try to hide what's really going on with Zizek:... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Bill