The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012)


(director: Sophie Fiennes; screenwriter: Slavoj Zizek; cinematographer: Remko Schnorr; editor: Ethel Shepherd; music: Magnus Fiennes; cast: Slavoj Zizek ; Runtime: 136; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: James Wilson/Martin Rosenbaum/Katie Holly/Sophie Fiennes; Zeitgeist; 2012-UK/Ireland)

“A cerebral treat.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Director Sophie Fiennes(“Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow”) gives the Slovenianphilosophical provocateur Slavoj Zizek the stage and he in a one-man non-stop talky essay uses films such as The Sound of Music, They Live, Seconds, Zabriskie Point, Jaws, Taxi, Full Metal Jacket, The Brief Encounter, Triumph of the Will, The Eternal Jew, The Loves of a Blonde, The Last Temptation of Christ, West Side Story, A Clockwork Orange and several others, to explore their concealed meanings while teaching from their locations or sets. Zizek also manages to tell us what was the allure to Nazi anti-Semitism, the Catholic Church, Coca-Cola, the hippie movement, the Iraqi War and the oddity that both fascist and democratic countries love Ludwig’s “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony.

The 136 minute lecture, filled with amusing and perceptive thoughts, reaches no high point or produces a cohesive theory, but remains with numerous high points and an inventive commentary throughout as the Man with the heavy foreign accent drops intellectual bombshells on how ideology might not be the be all it’s cracked up to be. The energetic passionate Zizek, the truth messenger, is inclined to reassure us if we want to change we must change how we dream and that’s the important thing because ultimately what counts the most is our dreams. It concludes with a Walter Benjamin reference that every revolution aims for a better future and to redeem the mistakes of the past.

For the right viewer, this unique pic is a cerebral treat and worth seeking out as a novelty film that seamlessly blends together entertainment with knowledge.