I got introduced to Slavoj Zizek through his under-seen Lacan-style analysis of cinema called the Pervert's Guide to Cinema, and was immediately taken in by his very sharp mind, oddball sense of humor, and dead-on analysis of the nature of cinema and the Freudian psychology. This little documentary by first-time director Astra Taylor basically follows Zizek around, usually without much control visually (her main tactic is to get her in close-up, which isn't smart since he's always animated, if still controlled), but always obtaining what Zizek is all about. He gets a person's mind moving about so many subjects: the super-ego and it's ties to capitalism, the need to associate oneself with ideology and the dangers with that, how to use philosophical ideas meaningfully, and what belief plays a role in politics and psychological interpretations. Not limited to these topics are all on Zizek's mind, and all of his points reveal him as a man with unlimited intelligence, even as his mind goes so fast it becomes something of a task to keep up with him.
Little moments Taylor captures add idiosyncrasies one might not expect from someone as such a Marxist and Lacan-follower (however NOT a Dogmatic Lacan-follower as he says), including showing off his son's toys, and shopping for movies at Kim's Video in New York City, or how he tries to look for a restaurant. But for the most part, Zizek! at it's best- and it's best to look at for its substance, not its style- brings to mind the nature of philosophy for the individual, how politics ends up feeding into the public's consciousness by way of wanting more "enjoyment", or what enjoyment really means. It's almost TOO short, and one who becomes fascinated by Zizek's theories and very straightforward interpretations of subjects that should be more complicated by how he describes them sees that sometimes he gets cut off from what is such a long and amazing description or drawn-out thought. But if one is interested already in the man, it should provide some fun and food-for-thought seeing the man in down-to-earth form for the cameras, and newcomers may or may not take to the man's theories. Like Pervert's Guide, some things will fly over your head, but what sticks makes for some of the most insightful commentary in recent years.
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