Recommended Viewing Situation:

Whilst considering the true nature of life, ideology and the communist flag above your sink.

Running Time: 150 minutes.

Format: 16mm, 35mm film and digital film.

Director: Sophie Fiennes.

Writer: Slavoj Zizek.

Cinematographer: Remko Schnorr.

Awards: Nominated for Best British Documentary by the British Independent Film Awards 2006.

 

This one won’t be for everyone. In fact, it wasn’t for anyone I used to talk to back in my days at university (and we were supposed to study it), but none the less, let me introduce to you the Elvis of cultural theory in his very own movie, The Perverts Guide To Cinema (2006). Oh yes, Slavoj Zizek has his very own spot as a host of a movie (well, actually, he has two).

For those of you not familiar with his work, Slavoj Zizek is a world-renowned Slovenian cultural theorist and philosopher specialising in Marxism and Psychoanalysis. In 1990, he also ran as the Liberal Democratic Party’s candidate for Slovenian presidency. Personally, I’m not one for the school of Psychoanalysis, but Mr Zizek seems to extract some very interesting ideas when using it as a framework and his Marxist ideas are usually very thought provoking in the academic world. His documentary, on the other hand, is very Psychoanalysis heavy; as the film was written by Zizek himself, what more would you expect? Extrapolating upon abstract ideas of Freudian psychic structures, theories of the id, ego and superego, in relation to films, such as Psycho (1960) and Jaws (1975), is nothing short of riveting. Directed by Sophie Fiennes (The Perverts Guide to Ideology 2012, Over your Cities Grass will Grow 2010), sister of revered actor Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List (1993), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)), the piece’s notable postmodern style, merging Zizek with the films he is analysing, is a real achievement from a directorial point of view and a cinematic one; a feat which would have been impossible without the deft hand of cinematographer Remko Schnorr (Sergio Herman: Fucking Perfect 2015, Koffie and Cake 2014).

Now for those of you familiar with psychoanalysis and the more in-depth side of cultural and literary theory, Zizek’s intimations, as you can imagine, are consistently interesting if not a little perplexing because of his ability to orate, gesticulate and enunciate in one incredible motion. Some of his analysis draws heavily from his seminal work, The Sublime Object of Ideology (1989), which in many respects influences the Lacanian and Freudian ideas of language that can really only entertain the academics in the room. However, this documentary is for the movie fans more than the students of philosophy and cultural theory. Although, it certainly helps if you keep your wits about you and the pause button handy. If you like it, check out The Perverts Guide to Ideology (2012), it’s a corker.

-Matthew Iredale