Sunday, 6 October 2013

film review: The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

A semi-sequel to The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology sees cult philosopher Slavoj Žižek lecture on the ideological constructs that have shaped history, and which continue to shape our dreams and day-to-day decisions. Director Sophie Fiennes repeats the aforementioned documentary’s style, keeping things visually as well as intellectually interesting with film extracts, archive footage and clips of Žižek pontificating in themed locales – the latter a still-amusing conceit that inserts the theorist into various texts just as ideology, he argues, inserts itself into us.

As he hops from Travis Bickle’s bunk to Leni Reifenstahl’s aeroplane to a booth in the Korova Milk Bar, his arguments stay accessibly salient despite a formidable vocabulary of interpolation and the like, largely thanks to an idiosyncratic intellect that draws examples from across the pop culture spectrum. Only Žižek could so convincingly transition from Cabaret to Rammstein, or flow from The Sound of Music to Kinder Surprise to Beethoven’s 9th, and while a mere 130 minutes can’t do justice to the reams of theory underpinning it, its nonetheless hugely engaging.

Out now

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