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Zizek!

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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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."

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

Amazon.com

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

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

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: #117,360 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zizek!" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on June 21, 2008
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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. His thoughts are presented in meaningless out of context bursts. The absence of any intellectual flow is compounded by the absence of narrative flow. To make matters worse, grotesque efforts to give the film style or a sense of the artist were forced into the film with repeated shots of a spiral staircase - presumably as a metaphor for Zizek's mind and his arguments. The was tedious due its repetition, boring, and insulting to me as a viewer as it was a technique that only someone in junior high might think would be novel. This kind of remedial approach to film making also involved trying to manufacture drama such as during the commentary on the Slovenia presidential debates. I am a fan of Zizek, but I thoroughly despised this film. I walked out of the theater angry that such an incompetent hack job was executed on someone notable who deserved better.
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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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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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