The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema
UK. 2006. Sophie Fiennes.
Zizek is fantastic. No one uses Lacanian psychoanalysis to the devastating effect that he is able to. He offers an invigorating and inspiring psychoanalytical account of our (and certainly his) well-known and classic movies, each running with a psychological theme, for example Vertigo, Psycho and Blue Velvet, to name a few.
Whilst screening the movie clips, Zizek blasts his analysis over the top with the occasional exchange of himself super-imposed into the movie’s setting/location. It is insightful how Zizek’s humour and great passion for the cinema lead a straightforward path into what are some very complex concepts.
It is worth the odd pause to reflect on what Zizek is saying; he does tend to shuffle through a whole lot of ideas remarkably fast. A second viewing is well worthwhile; it can be challenging to decipher the images side-by-side with Zizek’s analysis, least to say, the film requires your full concentration.
Ultimately, an individually presented documentary such as this, and with clear passion for the cinema, confirms the wonderful capacity of this medium/language to inspire and become an integral part of our lives.
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology
UK. 2012. Sophie Fiennes.
Zizek takes his screen persona to the next level, traversing across deserts and oceans and transcending the ideological realm, he never fails to be wild, weird and dangerously intelligent. I say dangerous, as Zizek takes his provocative psychoanalysis (from the school of Lacan) and digs up the quilt of ideology that blankets our mediascape. We can trust Zizek for some deeply discerning cinematic examples to demonstrate the latter, whilst also uncovering newsreels and documentaries to great effect.
If there is one problem with Zizek, it might just be that he is too clever, at least for the screen and the small alley of verbal communication that it offers to Zizek’s language. Or as the radial French philosopher and sociologist Jean Baudrillard points out, can we really convey complex ideas with images? If you have read any of Zizek’s books, you will know that he is careful to elaborate structures of his analysis and section each generously. So, the problem with this documentary is that is progresses into a meal too large to digest, at least in a single sitting. Once Zizek’s idea is beginning to process, the next mouthful is on its way. However, the ideas do interlink succinctly and Zizek will cast you under his spell; he entraps us greater than the trap of ideology itself.
*All reflections are from my film journal.