In this tour de force filmed lecture, Slavoj Zizek lucidly and compellingly reflects on belief - which takes him from Father Christmas to democracy - and on the various forms that belief ... See full summary »
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THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA takes the viewer on an exhilarating ride through some of the greatest movies ever made. Serving as presenter and guide is the charismatic Slavoj Zizek, acclaimed philosopher and psychoanalyst. With his engaging and passionate approach to thinking, Zizek delves into the hidden language of cinema, uncovering what movies can tell us about ourselves. Whether he is untangling the famously baffling films of David Lynch, or overturning everything you thought you knew about Hitchcock, Zizek illuminates the screen with his passion, intellect, and unfailing sense of humour. THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA cuts its cloth from the very world of the movies it discusses; by shooting at original locations and from replica sets it creates the uncanny illusion that Zizek is speaking from 'within' the films themselves. Together the three parts construct a compelling dialectic of ideas. Described by The Times in London as 'the woman helming this Freudian inquest,' director ...Written by
P Guide Ltd.
I understood from the credits to the film that Slavoj Zizek is the sole writer. Having seen Zizek lecture in person, and interviewed him on one occasion, would appear to confirm that it is tightly scripted. This in my opinion was a mistake. Zizek is calling all the shots in the film, which exposes the director's very shaky and underdeveloped premise: just let Zizek talk. And by just letting him talk, trust in him that he will enlighten us, the audience, and that you, the director, will be able to capture that. Problem is that the director doesn't understand what he's talking about, which makes her incapable of editing him (hence the extraordinarily long running time! of over two hours!!). And since she cannot engage with his discourse all she contributes in the way of direction are a series of jokey mises en scenes where Zizek gets to live out his fantasies by appearing in his favourite films. What would have worked much better is if Zizek had had an interlocutor, someone to contradict him. Or if some of his fantasy screen idols, rather than remaining impassive and mute to his presence, had woken up. But the director can't do that because she doesn't have the confidence or knowledge of his philosophy, so instead she just lets him ramble, interminably, for over 2 HOURS, in the kind of free association mode that should only ever be heard in private from within the analyst's surgery. The film presents a one way conversation, a closed discourse, and we end up not really involved, as voyeurs. Maybe that's the point, the "pervert" of the title. But then I thought that voyeurs were supposed to get a thrill...
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