Sophie Fienne’s Documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology”

What’s not to like about Slavoj’s Zizek’s “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology” (available on Netflix) which had its Rochester, New York premier at the majestic George Eastman House Dryden Theater on May 17th?
And yet how do I impart the vast knowledge that Sociology and Psychology Scholar Zizek imparted in his two hour plus documentary? Perhaps this Zizek quote may give you the flavor of the man’s manifesto:
“I am a pessimist in the sense that we are approaching dangerous times. But I’m an optimist for exactly the same reason. Pessimism means things are getting messy. Optimism means these are precisely the times when change is possible.”

In appearance and speech Zizek vaguely resembles a Werner Herzog on amphetamines, reporting with a twitchy kinetic energy that makes the movie fly by, but that also makes you wish you could slow down to 33 and 3rd rpms.slavoj zizek

Morsels gleaned as they skimmed by me like skipping stones:
Movies can be viewed as metaphor for our basic fear and Freudian needs. An example of the former was Jaws (Spielberg, 1975) with the great white shark representing United States’ fear of Cuba.
The latter example exemplified by Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960) in which the three floors represent man’s id (basement), ego (first floor) and super ego (2nd floor).

Last Zizek made an interesting case that atheism is a much kinder and gentler belief system, given the torture, human sacrifice, and twisted interpretations Christianity and other theologies espouse. For this theory, Zizek cunningly wove in clips of The Last Temptation of Christ (Scorsese, 1988).

While this all sounds quite heady, Zizek wrote the screenplay with humor, putting himself into the scenery of the films mentioned, prone on a dilapidated apartment twin bed during a talk about DeNiro in Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976) or clad in a monk’s frock for The Sound of Music clips (Wise, 1965). His sardonic view gave the viewer the spoonful of sugar enabling us to entertain the intellectual medicine. Kudos to Zizek and director Sophie Fiennes for a fine doc! sophie fiennes

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