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Debate Gala

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

Slavoj Žižek unleashes his voracious intellect on films from The Sound of Music to Full Metal Jacket, in this wilfully provocative documentary essay.

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

  • Director Sophie Fiennes
  • Producer James Wilson, Martin Rosenbaum, Katie Holly, Sophie Fiennes
  • With Slavoj Žižek
  • UK-Ireland 2012
  • 133 mins
  • Production company P Guide Production

In keeping with good blockbuster logic, renegade philosopher and bionic cineaste Slavoj Žižek gets his own sequel in Sophie Fiennes’ engrossing follow-up to The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. Unleashing his voracious intellect on films from The Sound of Music to Full Metal Jacket, Žižek postulates on where and how cinema reinforces, and sometimes exposes, the tenets of prevailing ideologies. Leaping (literally) from the ‘trashcan of ideology’ in John Carpenter’s They Live – in which a drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to read the real messages beneath everyday signs – Žižek continues on an intellectual rampage via Jaws, Starbucks, Oratorio For Prague, The Dark Knight, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the London riots – until he reaches the monstrous heart of his dissertation in John Frankenheimer’s Seconds, a cult classic about a man whose fantasies can’t ultimately be satisfied because he ‘dreams the wrong dreams’. Reprising the technique of the previous film by locating Žižek in elaborately recreated scenes from the films he critiques (Titanic affording one of the film’s funniest visual gags), Fiennes takes this further by providing more real-world context through news footage and excerpts from propaganda films, resulting in a documentary essay as resonant as it is wilfully provocative.

Clare Stewart

Related event: Slavoj Žižek in Conversation

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