Full Moon Fever

Sublime Reflections

The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema

The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema  is a two-and-a-half-hour documentary by Sophie Fiennes, scripted and presented by Slavoj Žižek. It explores a number of films from a psychoanalytic theoretical perspective. Essential viewing by cinephiles of course, but also for anyone interested in the enduring power of cinema and shape our desires and fuel our dreams. 

‘Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn’t give you what you desire – it tells you how to desire’ – Slavoj Zizek

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, the Slovenian 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.

The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema offers an introduction into some of Zizek’s most exciting ideas on fantasy, reality, sexuality, subjectivity, desire, materiality and cinematic form. 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 applies Zizek’s ideas to the cinematic canon, in what The Times calls ‘an extraordinary reassessment of cinema.’

The film cuts its cloth from the very world of the movies it discusses; by shooting at original locations and on replica sets, it creates the uncanny illusion that Zizek is speaking from within the films themselves. Described by The Times as ‘the woman helming this Freudian inquest,’ director Sophie Fiennes’ collaboration with Slavoj Zizek illustrates the immediacy with which film and television can communicate genuinely complex ideas. Says Zizek: “My big obsession is to make things clear. I can really explain a line of thought if I can somehow illustrate it in a scene from a film. The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema is really about what psychoanalysis can tell us about cinema.”

About Slavoj Zizek:

Slavoj Zizek is a professor at the Institute for Sociology, Ljubljana and at the European Graduate School EGS who uses popular culture to explain the theory of Jacques Lacan and the theory of Jacques Lacan to explain politics and popular culture. He was born in 1949 in Ljubljana, Slovenia where he lives to this day but he has lectured at universities around the world. He was analysed by Jacques Alain Miller, Jacques Lacan’s son in law, and is probably the most successful and prolific post-Lacanian having published over fifty books including translations into a dozen languages. He is a leftist and, aside from Lacan he was strongly influenced by Marx, Hegel and Schelling. In temperament, he resembles a revolutionist more than a theoretician. He was politically active in Slovenia during the 80s, a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Slovenia in 1990; most of his works are moral and political rather than purely theoretical. He has considerable energy and charisma and is a spellbinding lecturer in the tradition of Lacan and Kojeve.

Zizek has cast a very long shadow in what can only be termed “cultural studies” (though he would despise the characterization). He is an effective purveyor of Lacanian mischief, and, as a follower of the French “liberator” of Freud, Zizek’s Lacan is almost exclusively transcribed in mesmerizing language games or intellectual parables. That he has an encyclopedic grasp of political, philosophical, literary, artistic, cinematic, and pop cultural currents — and that he has no qualms about throwing all of them into the stockpot of his imagination — is the prime reason he has dazzled his peers and confounded his critics for over ten years.

Advertisements

February 2, 2009 - Posted by | Film, Slavoj Zizek

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: