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The Pervert's Guide to Cinema



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1.35 GB
English 2.0
25 fps
2 hr 30 min
P/S 18 / 67
2.5 GB
English 2.0
25 fps
2 hr 30 min
P/S 37 / 115

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rysiek_kinoman8 / 10

He Lost It at the Movies

He's stocky, sweaty, slightly cross-eyed and restless. He stands in front of us and calls himself a pervert. He claims that we – the film viewers – perceive the screen as a toilet bowl, and are all secretly wishing for all the s**t to explode from the inside. He's unpredictable and scary. Well…? Come on, you could have guessed by now: he's one of the leading philosophers of our age.

Slavoj Žižek is both a narrator and a subject of Sophie Fiennes' extraordinary new film, A Pervert's Guide to the Cinema. Fiennes illustrates a feature-long lecture by Žižek, and does so in two ways: by providing exemplary film clips and putting Žižek on real (or reconstructed) locations from the movies he speaks about. It's always nice to watch neatly captioned scenes from great movies (although Revenge of the Sith got here as well),but the main attraction of A Pervert's Guide… is Žižek himself. What makes the movie such fun to watch is the unanswerable question one cannot help but ask over and over again: what is more outrageous, Žižek's views or Žižek's screen presence? In a documentary by Astra Taylor (Žižek!, 05),Slovenian philosopher at one point confessed his fear of being silent. Because, he claimed, he feels like he doesn't exist in the first place, the only way to make all other people believe he does is to talk constantly and feverishly. And talk he did, and how. Also A Pervert's Guide… is dominated by his voice – delivering perfect English in most crazy way, and making some astonishing points about the cinema.

What are those? Well, for example he sees Chaplin's reluctance towards talking picture as a sign of an universal fear of voice itself (kind of alien force taking over the human being – think the ventriloquist segment of Dead of Night [45]). He says that the perverse nature of cinema is to teach us to desire certain objects, not to provide us with them. He identifies Groucho Marx as super ego, Chico as ego and Harpo as id. He says a million other interesting things, and all the time we cannot take our eyes off him, so persuasive (and captivating) are his looks. At some point I couldn't help but stare at his thick, scruffy hair and wonder what kind of a brain lays stored underneath. Craving, of course, for more insights.

Most notable are Žižek's readings of Lynch and Hitchcock (which comes as no surprise since he has written about both of them). The cumulative effect of many brilliantly edited clips from their respective work made those parts of Žižek's lecture memorable and – unlike others – difficult to argue with, since he seems to really have gotten things right on these two directors. This doesn't go for his reading of Tarkovsky for example, upon whom he relentlessly imposes his own utterly materialistic view of reality, dismissing precisely what's so remarkable in all Tarkovsky (namely strong religious intuitions and images).

The question isn't whether Žižek is inspiring and brilliant, because he is; or whether Fiennes film is worth watching, because it is likewise. The real question is rather: are Žižek views coherent? One smart observation after another make for an overwhelming intellectual ride, but after the whole thing is over, some doubts remain. For example: while considering Vertigo (58) Žižek states that what's hidden behind human face is a perfect void, which makes face itself only a facade: something of a deception in its own means. However, when in the final sequence we hear about the ever-shattering finale of City Lights (31) as being a portrait of one human being fully exposed to another, it's hard not to ask: what happened to the whole facade-thing…? Why should we grant Chaplin's face intrinsic value of the real thing and deprive Kim Novak's of this same privilege in two bold strokes…? Or maybe that incoherence might also be read in Lacan's terms? (The name of the notoriously "unreadable" French psychoanalyst is fundamental to Žižek's thought.) The film has all the virtues of a splendid two-and-a-half hours lecture: lots of ground are covered, many perspectives employed, even some first-rate wisecracks made (when Žižek travels on a Melanie Daniels' boat from The Birds [63] and tries to think as she did, he comes up with: "I want to f**k Mitch!"). But it has also one shortcoming that isn't inherent to two-and-a-half hours lecture as such: it's almost obsessively digressive. Žižek's yarn about how far are we from the Real is as good as any other psychoanalytic yarn, but after some 80 minutes it becomes quite clear that one of Žižek's perverse pleasures is to ramble on and on, changing subjects constantly. Overall effect is this of being swept away by a giant, cool, fizzing wave: you're simultaneously taken by surprise, refreshed, in mortal danger and confused no end. As you finish watching, your head is brimming with ideas not of your own and you're already planning on re-watching some films – but you also share a sense of having survived a calamity.

The ultimate question is: did Žižek lost it? Or haven't we even came close to the real thing? Once cinephilia becomes punishable by imprisonment, we shall all meet in a one big cell and finally talk to each other (not having any movies around to turn our faces to). I dare you all: who will have enough guts to approach Žižek and defy him? My guess is that once you look into those eyes in real life, you become a believer.

Reviewed by loganx-29 / 10

Isn't It Perverse To Have Artificial Desires?

Bear in mind, any film (let alone documentary) which asserts any kind of truth, will generate an adverse and proportional amount of cynicism, from those to whom any suggestion of and or search for truths is already meaningless, those of you who are already Masters of psychology, film, and captains of the soul, will no doubt find this movie redundant, after all, you already know everything there is to know. Congrats.

For those of us in the minority like myself, I found "The Perverts Guide To Cinmea"....mostly brilliant, and worth watching for those interested in movies, psychology, and modern philosophy.

A little like Scott Mclouds' "Understanding Comics", director Sophie Fiennes, inter-grates Slovene philosopher, psychologist, and social critic Slavoj Zizek right into many of the films and specif scenes he discusses. The cover is an image from "The Birds"(Zizek takes a boat out to re-create the shot).

Lacanian Psycho-analysis, does not necessarily scream, an evening of great fun...but it is! If you like movies that is.... Having some knowledge of Lacanian psycho-analysis helps (Symbolic, Real, and Imaginary) are terms which get thrown around a little loosely at first, but the scenes which Zizek selects and analyze make remarkably clear what was always for me, a very abstract subject. In fact, it's probably better to have a familiarity with the films he's discussing than with the terminology he uses, which becomes clearer as the film goes on.

Why I love, this film isn't because it picks great films to analyze or reveals great truths about Lacan, but shows in a very practical and clever manner, where film and psychology (and by default philosophy) meet.

Why is "The Sound Of Music" kinda fascistic, why is "Short Cuts" about more than just class and alienation, why do the birds attack in "The Birds", what is there to learn about the mind from "Alien Resurrection", what does the planet of "Solaris" want, what does "Psycho" and "The Marx Brothers" have to do with each other, and what the hell is David Lynch getting across in movie after movie...well Zizek has some ideas.

The role of the voice in both "The Excorcist" and "Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith", is maybe the movies strongest and most lucid moment, when he gets into feminine sexual subjectivity I begin to one point Zizek admits his feeling that flowers are a kind of decorative vagina dentatta, that they are disgusting and should be hidden from children (jokingly, it seems but...).

Anyway, it's a fascinating documentary, which anyone who has ever seen a movie, and thought it meant something more than was literally stated, should make an attempt to see.

And anyone interested in Slavoj Zizek, this is a must as well, much less dry than "Reality Of The Virtual", and more direct than "Zizek!", two other pseudo-docs, about "the Elvis of contemporary cultural criticism", as he is being dubbed, in the English speaking world.

"The Perverts Guide To Cinema" is NOT about the role of sex in cinema. Zizek claims cinema is the ultimate pervert art, because it teaches "how to desire, and not what to desire", and that it is the only contemporary art form that can allow for these desires to be articulated. This is not a film about finding the reality in cinema, it's about finding the cinema in reality, and how important and exciting that can be. Hard to find, and a bit long, but well worth the trouble, one of the most "stimulating" movie watching experiences I've ever had.

Reviewed by Andy-2969 / 10

Very entertaining, though you probably shouldn't take its analysis very seriously

In this two hours and a half documentary, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek uses psychoanalytic theory to analyze clips of many classic films. As a theory of human behavior, psychoanalysis is quite outdated, surpassed by more biologically centered theories of the brain. However, psychoanalysis has undeniably influenced many famous directors in the past (for instance, Alfred Hitchcock or David Lynch, and Zizek analyzes here clips of their films),so in this sense this movie is interesting to have a hint of what these directors might be getting at. This film is very entertaining (Zizek is quite a character in his own right, with his thick accent, gesticulating body and wildly hypothetical theories) even if the ideas put forward here are probably wrong and outdated. The films Zizek spent more time analyzing here are Vertigo, Blue Velvet, Psycho, The Birds and Lost Highway, but aside from Hitchcock and Lynch, there are clips from other directors, such as Kubrick, Chaplin, Tarkovsky and others. And in a one of the more interesting parts, he shows us a Disney cartoon from 1935 called Pluto's Last Judgment, and we see how it surprisingly mirrors the Stalinist show trials of a few years later. Sophie Fiennes (sister of Ralph and Joseph) directs. She wisely makes Zizek talk from sets that mimics some of the movies he is analyzing.

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