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886 Ratings

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

Directed by Sophie Fiennes
United Kingdom, Ireland, 2012


The philosopher and academic Slavoj Žižek is either a genius, madman, contrarian, clown, sensationalist, radical leftist, scourge of liberals, or all the above. Uniting with documentarian Sophie Fiennes, Žižek examines films, both famous and obscure, for their overt and hidden implications.

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The Pervert's Guide to Ideology Directed by Sophie Fiennes
Žižek is undeniably engaging, if overexposed. (One wishes we could have in-depth film profiles of major thinkers like Judith Butler and Cornel West, but they probably have better things to do.) If there is a significant flaw in Fiennes’ film, it’s that Ideology is almost structured as if it were a series of blackout sketches or freestanding webisodes, so no broader argument ever builds.
January 23, 2014
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All the [Žižek] classics are here: rants on cultural consumerism vis-à-vis Starbucks and class politics in TITANIC, as well as meditations on violence and Christian atheism. What detractors don’t seem to realize is that Zizek is always in on the joke, and if psychoanalytic film theory is poised for a comeback its because it can now laugh at itself.
November 01, 2013
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Mr. Zizek’s daisy-chained improvisations amount to an argument on behalf of complexity and unseen depths, and, like much academic writing, it risks monotony and becoming as reductive as it can be seductive. Mr. Zizek also has a frustrating tendency to dead-end into jargon or sidestep at pivotal moments. He speaks the truth much of the time, yet all the whipping back of the curtain ends up covering up other realities about movies and life.
October 31, 2013
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