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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.
To be honest, I really wasn't sure if I was meant to take this documentary seriously. It's host, Slavoj Zizek, is a Slovenian psychoanalyst who is simultaneously interesting and ridiculous. One third of the time his theories went straight over my head, another third of the time I found them (unintentionally?) hilarious, while the final third of the time I saw where he was coming from. Although I can't in all honesty say that I came away from The Pervert's Guide to Cinema with a feeling that I had a greater understanding of the subtext of the films discussed. I didn't really agree with a lot of what Zizek said, his (over)analysis was very entertaining though. The documentary as a result feels much more about Zizek himself than the films. However, it does have to be said that the selection of movies covered is really pretty good, so from that basis alone this is a film documentary worth seeing.
It's not especially clear who this is aimed at mind you. The title is very misleading. It makes it sound like it should be a guide to sexploitation films or something. Well, of course it isn't. Zizek examines Freudian theories in cinema specifically in the case of films by Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch, but also with extensive clips from many other movies ranging from The Wizard of Oz to The Matrix. Zizek is the only person in this feature, so it works like an extended - if rambling - essay. Director Sophie Fiennes makes things a little more visually interesting by having Zizek appear to be in the film set himself - we see him in the cellar in Psycho, the hotel room in Vertigo and in a speedboat in Bodega Bay in The Birds. It's a neat touch, and quite funny too. As are much of Zizek's throwaway comments such as his view that 'flowers should be forbidden to children' or when he states that Stalinism was all about totalitarianism, mass murder and musicals. Even if you don't agree with this guy, you have to admit he is never exactly boring.
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