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The Pervert's Guide to Cinema (2006)

Slavoj Zizek examines famous films in a philosophical and a psychoanalytic context.


Sophie Fiennes


Slavoj Zizek


Slavoj Zizek
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Credited cast:
Slavoj Zizek ... Self


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.

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[first lines]
Slavoj Zizek: Cinema is the art of appearances, it tells us something about reality itself. It tells us something about how reality constitutes itself.
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User Reviews

Famous movies on the psychoanalyst's couch
23 April 2007 | by raseczSee all my reviews

Famous movies are subject to Freudian analysis: Possessed, The Matrix, The Birds, Psycho, Vertigo, Duck Soup, Monkey Business, The Exorcist, The Testament of Dr Mabuse, Alien, Alien Resurrection, The Great Dictator, City Lights, The Tramp, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Dr Strangelove, The Red Shoes, Fight Club, Dead of Night, The Conversation, Blue Velvet, Solaris, Stalker, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, Persona, In The Cut, Eyes Wide Shut, The Piano Teacher, Three Colours: Blue, Dogville, Frankenstein, The Ten Commandments, Saboteur, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest, Star Wars, Dune, Kubanskie Kazaki, Ivan The Terrible, Pluto's Judgment Day (Walt Disney), Wild at Heart.

You may wonder how the Marx Brothers come into play. According To Slavoj Zizek, the host and analyst of this intellectually tickling tour de force, Groucho is the superego, Chico the ego, and Harpo the id.

Scenes from the above listed films are used to illustrate concepts: the role of fantasy in shaping reality and vice-versa, the father figure, male and female libido, death drive, etc. Here are some of Slavoj utterances (most as paraphrases): "desire is a wound on reality", "fantasy realized is a nightmare", "music is the opium of the people" (borrowing from K. Marx), "of all human emotions, anxiety is the only one that is not deceiving". The whole is bracketed by an intro that declares "you don't look for your desires in movies, instead cinema tells you what you should desire" and concludes with the cineaste view that "cinema is needed today so that we can understand our current reality" -- I say, as long as censorship doesn't derail it.

The three part subdivision is merely mechanical, possibly with TV screening in mind. For the theater goer it is irrelevant.

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Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pervert's Guide to Cinema See more »

Filming Locations:

Bodega Bay, California, USA See more »


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