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Perverts Guide to Ideology [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: Black & White, Enhanced, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • Release Date: Feb. 18 2014
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B00GX33J7E
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Product Description

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0ec3390) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2d45510) out of 5 stars About as fun as critical theory gets! March 14 2014
By Day2 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is not to say Zizek provides a clear or easy message, and to my lay understanding he appears to jump around quite a bit without and easy roadmap. Strangely this neither interfered with my simple enjoyment of his amusing subjects for deep analysis, his perhaps unintentional sense of comic timing, or his truly engaging constructions of the subtle cues in superficial trends of society.

No, this wasn't an epiphany of the sort you can easily explain to others. But where Zizek shines for me is in each individual example. Most of them ring true in a way that you can feel broadening your perspective on THAT particular example. And while his examples didn't really add up to a big WOW for me at the end of the film, I'm not sure critical theorists even aim for that, as their "answer" could be taken for propaganda and clutched as"truth" like any other message of propaganda.

Maybe I'm too dim to see the big picture behind critical theorists like Zizek, Benjamin, and Derrida, but I feel delightfully challenged by their efforts, one by one, and feel that this movie reminded me to look beneath the obvious message of pop culture iconography and idealism for more subtle dynamics of control and subversion.

Don't be scared off by any of this as the opening segment praises the 1988 John Carpenter movie, "THEY LIVE" for it's astute critique on consumer culture. And he's right! I can't wait to dig up this old film as it appears to be excellent social satire made palatable with a monster movie approach.

Look, if you're a PhD student this might be too remedial or lightweight for you to use for your thesis, but as a layman who seeks out new philosophical ideas to expand my perception of the world, I loved it.

I don't want the answer Zizek doesn't provide; I want new tools to peel the onion of existence back a layer or two and figure out more from there. I was not let down.

Highly recommended.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0ebb1b0) out of 5 stars Rambling meditation on film and pop culture Feb. 18 2014
By DVD Verdict - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek and director Sophie Fiennes, who collaborated on The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, join forces once again for a rambling meditation on film and pop culture in The Pervert's Guide to Ideology.

It's a hilarious treatise on how Hollywood expresses important cultural political ideals through how characters move through plots, and the discussion is fast, funny, and furious. It is a thinking man's treatise on cinema, and what's fun is they are using populist pieces rather than underground cinema that often has its own political agenda on display. No long looks at My Dinner with Andre, rather here we have analysis of the big summer blockbusters on what they do to our state of mind, psychoanalysis, and dreams.

DVD is a great way to experience this film, especially with a booklet that provides references to the films as well as statements from the director and production notes. Also included as an extra feature is a half-hour discussion with Sophie and Slavoj at a museum screening, which serves to explain the genesis of the project as well as provide more rants and raves. The visual presentation from HD elements is fine, although often the quality is dependent on the age of a film they are talking about. This is a talking-head-interspersed-with-clips kind of affair. Sound is a simple English stereo with subtitles for those who are hard of hearing or have difficulty following the stream-of-thought Slovenian shouting off the screen at them. The DVD is a great presentation, and even a step-up from the museum screenings that most people attended to first see this movie.

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology is a smart and playful ride that explores cinema and culture through unlikely avenues. It's a film that asks you to consider They Live as a masterpiece of ideological meditation. It is John Carpenter's statement about dictatorship through democracy and also a savvy update of Invasion of the Body Snatchers that has a firm grasp of propaganda. That's just something that is thrown out in the first three minutes of the film which runs over two hours on Slavoj's caffeine-fueled rants. He examines American life through our ultimate expression, the collective dreams we call movies.

Brett Cullum, VERDICT

Read the full review at dvdverdict.com
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa16ef57c) out of 5 stars Ideology on trial, and sent to the gallows Feb. 14 2015
By David Wineberg - Published on Amazon.com
I wanted to see this film because Zizek is quoted more and more often in books I review. I wanted to see who he is. He is a twitchy philosopher and political scientist with a lot to say. What is most interesting is that he frames his philosophy in popular films from all over. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of films, and extracts the points he wants to make from the unlikeliest of them. It makes his theories instantly relevant, possible and palatable, and keeps you in your seat. You never know what's coming next.

Most entertaining is Zizek putting himself in recreated sets of the films he uses as examples, in costume. He appears in Jaws, Titanic, Seconds, Dark Knight, West Side Story, Taxi, Sound of Music and numerous others that he employs to dismantle the foundations of modern society. He shows the undermining of justice, of authority, of religion, of The Big Other - and uses them to show that they actually demonstrate the very opposite of what they appear to stand for. That's an accomplishment.

There is plenty to disagree with. Zizek comes up with a theory that love and couples are incidental to the stories in films. But there would be no film industry without the love interest, the struggle to consummate a relationship, the sacrifice, the betrayal, and all the other mechanisms that make film stories attractive to audiences. You almost want to stop the film and call him up and say - how can you say that?

It is a long film that covers a lot of territory. But it covers it entertainingly on several levels: the explanation from within the set, the clips from the films themselves, and the linking of them to make his points. If this lecture were a book, the pages would be soaked with highlighter.

David Wineberg
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3178090) out of 5 stars Brilliant, insightful, witty May 19 2014
By Mckathiki - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Fascinating and thought provoking analysis. Well worth viewing, especially for those of us whose eyes and minds have opened to global realities and are working hard to shed our own onion layers of ideological indoctrination.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa113124c) out of 5 stars A film is just a film. Or is it? March 25 2014
By Manuel Armenteros - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Slavoj Zizek's continues his "Pervert's Guide" series, the first one being the Perverts Guide to Cinema back in 2006. Contrary to that film, which is also very interesting and thought provoking, there is no need for some background in psychoanalysis of the Lacanian variety.

Instead of focusing on how films can be a useful tool in understanding how the much discredited psychoanalysis can be, Zizek focuses on an topic that has been dormant for a long time, since the collapse of the USSR, namely the issue of Ideology. By going through obscure films like John Carpenter's "They Live", to use the metaphor of glasses revealing the truth in daily illusion, to talking about the much acclaimed Batman's "The Dark Knight Rises" and the hidden message that can be interpreted as to why in political discourse, authority is de facto needed to control the masses who will become violent and brutal without leaders, according to those who have such authority. Zizek is here to claim that a movie is never really a movie, to different extents all we see and watch in our daily lives, not only movies but media and historical events, all have an underlying Ideological mechanism at work.

While there are certainly some objections that some of these interpretations are trivial or seek to stretch a movie too much out of its context, it is hard to deny having seen this movie, that given a different angle a wild new world of possibilities is opened up that can serve to enrich our understanding of things we often take for granted, albeit with some nagging suspicions that something is not right. What is this something which is not correct? There is no simple answer and each individual can and may well bring their own understanding of all that is popular and of mass consumption.

The one instance in which Zizek does make an explicit Lacanian term (which, to my mind is not bad, Zizek is a Lacanian, and even if you think Lacan was a charlatan, this is Zizek's Lacan, so take it for what it is) is when he mentions the Big Other. This is a difficult concept to explain, but can be understood as a fictitious entity that we postulate into another larger moral agent which we believe is external to us, but nevertheless is actually within us. If you don't understand this concept, watch the movie and maybe it will begin to make sense.

Even if you conclude that much of this is wrong, it is impossible to deny that there is plenty of food for thought contained in this excellent documentary, one which makes you think, and does not preach. Was Jesus an Atheist? Is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" a celebration of our humanity? Is the Church actually a secretly permissive society? Do prostitutes need to be rescued? Does military vulgarity serve a deeper purpose? Do we really want what we desire? Go ahead and do what the popular carbonated beverage tells you to do in its many commercial: Enjoy!

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