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The sequel to The Pervert's Guide to Cinema sees the reunion of brilliant philosopher Slavoj Zizek with filmmaker Sophie Fiennes, now using their inventive interpretation of moving pictures to examine ideology - the collective fantasies that shape our beliefs and practices.Written by
I haven't seen "The Pervert's Guide to Cinema"; now I wonder if I want to. Sophie Fiennes is credited as the director of "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology" but this is Slavoj Zizek's movie; he is never off the screen either in person or just his very annoying voice in broken English, (worse even than Mark Cousins' as he narrates his "The Story of Film"), as he explores the concept of 'ideology' through film, newsreel or music as used in film and since the examples he uses are far from what we might expect in such a highly intellectualized essay as this we are left in something of a void. I mean, is this man, Slavoj Zizek, for real or is Feinnes pulling the wool over our eyes by putting him at the centre of her film?
Of course, things would be a lot different if our guide were someone else; someone speaking fluent English or if Zizek were allowed to speak in his own language but then his torrent of words could never be adequately represented by subtitles. So we must take this film purely on face value. An 'ideological' version of this film wouldn't perhaps be what's up on the screen but perhaps that's the point. Film-buffs will, of course, love the clips even if Zizek's voice-over doesn't always make it easy for us to understand what is being said, (or what point he may actually be making), but there is a certain tongue-in-cheek fun to be had from seeing Zizek place himself 'into' the films or at least into the settings of the films, ("Taxi Driver" one minute, "Triumph of the Will" the next and sitting on the toilet from "Full Metal Jacket" at one point).
I'm sure intellectuals will positively wet themselves in paroxysms of ecstasy at having depth and meaning bestowed on such commercial 'classics' as "Jaws" and "The Sound of Music" and may even have them racing back to view them in a totally different light. Others may run screaming from the cinema and may never want to watch "West Side Story" again. For now I'm sitting on the fence with a foot in both camps, torn by the validity of Zizek's arguments (or the lack of), and the catch- penny, if undeniably entertaining, style in which they are presented.
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