MovieChat Forums > The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012) Discussion > One of the most intellectual films ever?

One of the most intellectual films ever?


I feel smarter for having watched this and followed his reasoning. He possibly goes a little too far at times but I think he is someone who is tortured by thought but in the process has come through with some breakthroughs in thought that are seldom discussed. It's a smart movie. Only half way through so far and not sure I understand the title, the word perverts makes me reticent to spout off on Facebook about how everyone should see this movie.

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I think there are some interesting ideas in this movie, but Zizek needs to practice what he has preached and remove his own ideology glasses before he undertakes to educate others on ideology. A lot of the time his interpretation of the various films are WAY off base, with quite a bit of this reeking of confirmation bias; he is twisting a film's meaning to justify his own view points rather than coming to a film tabula rasa and just seeing what is there.

The whole thing is what I call Pop Philosophy. A lot of intelligent-sounding phrases and jargon delivered staccato so that the dearth of intellect behind what is said isn't noticed, and the speaker sounds as if they are trying to communicate something deep when they really aren't.

Finally, his continual reference to psychoanalysis is very telling and is a blatant appeal to authority, i.e. he is attempting to lend legitimacy to his claims and ideas by mentioning psychoanalysis and how the study of such supports his premise. He seems to act on the notion that if he mentions something about psychoanalysis in a way which seems to support his ideas people will be more likely to accept what he says, as if psychoanalysis is some sort of universally accepted, authoritative discipline that is relevant in all instances. Not only is psychoanalysis far from universally accepted, it is almost as far from being relevant to much of what is discussed in this film in all but the most tertiary of ways.

I've got me git-finder set to pansy...

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The other movie perverts guide to cinema he talks about the Marx brothers representing the . Id, ego, and superego and it seemed pretty good. I hear what you are saying, maybe the staccato and the accent makes it sound smarter than it is and I think he went a little far with the sound of music interpretation but as far as the use of psychoanalysis being contrived I don't think that's entirely fair because apparently he is a psycho analyst and that is what he does for a living. Yes its not universally accepted but he is qualified to talk about it. Anyway I thought the part about the last temptation of Christ was interesting.

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I didn't realize that his background was in psychoanalysis, and him returning to that well makes much more sense after reading your post. I do agree with you about this movie being intelligent, at the very least in the sense of being thought provoking. I read your original post a couple of days before I responded and spent that time really thinking about what was said in this film. There are parts of it that I would definitely call mentally titillating, The Last Temptation of Christ discussion being one for me as well. The first part about "ideology glasses" really resonated with me, and the bit about Jaws and the conflicting interpretations, but the stand out part for me was his commentary on Stalin and his ilk.

I wouldn't want to give the impression that the movie isn't worth seeing (I rated it a 7), just that people who do set out to watch it should be cognizant of some of the shortcomings I mentioned.

I've got me git-finder set to pansy...

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A lot of people are watching this with the misconception that it’s a film analysis. However, Žižek is a philosopher and critical theorist, and is thus expected no more than to write or lecture as one. He is not interpreting these movies as an auteur, critic, clinician or passive observer, but more specifically as a cultural theorist through the lens of Hegel-Marx-Lacan. The scenes addressed by Žižek in the documentary are simply used as allegorical devices to support his own theoretical framework.

Nevertheless, I still would not recommend this film alone as an introductory text to Slavoj Žižek. A neophyte of critical theory, myself, I have so far used these as supplementary material for the Lacanian elements of Žižek’s work:

1. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide (Tyson, 2006)
2. Routledge Critical Thinkers: Jacques Lacan (Homer, 2005)
3. How to Read Lacan (Žižek, 2011)
4. IEP: Slavoj Zizek, 1949— (Sharpe, 2014)
5. Slavoj Zizek and the Reality of the Virtual (Wright, 2004)

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Thank you for this answer, it was perfect.

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Yes, the idea of using movies, media, culture etc is very tricky. It's like trying to psychoanalyze one's self from an earlier age, you really do not know what the hell you were thinking or why. Who is this guy and where does he come from? I think he must be independently wealthy enough to have his little tantrums to beg for attention.

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The whole thing is what I call Pop Philosophy. A lot of intelligent-sounding phrases and jargon delivered staccato so that the dearth of intellect behind what is said isn't noticed, and the speaker sounds as if they are trying to communicate something deep when they really aren't.

You are wrong on this, for one thing he is making a film not doing a PHD paper on the subject, he has a very wide audience to get his points across to in a short time. He has written over 24 books on such matters and is not just using 'intelligent-sounding' words and jargon, he is trying to educate you on semiotics & psychoanalysis, everyone should watch and re-watch this film to pick up on all the deep points he is making. Bravo Zizek....

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"The whole thing is what I call Pop Philosophy. A lot of intelligent-sounding phrases and jargon delivered staccato so that the dearth of intellect behind what is said isn't noticed, and the speaker sounds as if they are trying to communicate something deep when they really aren't."[/pre]

well said, my feelings exactly around 50 minutes in I kept thinking Trey and Matt would say this much better.

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One of the major problems with the film (Fil Im hehe) is that the doesn't seem to be an overarching thesis. We aren't really introduced to his rather insightful, expertly crafted analyses with any goal. His understanding is expert and is plea of realism is important but this essay with these deconstructions of our beliefs, which are supposedly created from these films sort of begs the question, why? I wish there was an opening statement of intent. He jumps right in with his deconstruction: everything you know is wrong! perhaps it is, but why you rather trite pieces of entertainment as proof? Some of these films are where some Americans MAYBE take their ideology, but why not start much lower at Real Housewives or House? They are probably much more common entrance points that Taxi Driver or They Live. What you end up with is jerk off material for intellectuals. That being said it's a smart movie and you should watch it. Everything he says is true, even if it builds ultimately toward very little. You will be enlightened a bit though the process. I think a point he makes, which isn't obvious but important, even if it isn't overtly state is that every film is propaganda. It all pushes ideology. That is interesting and what I took from it most of all.

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I also like how he doesn't take himself too seriously, sitting on the bed from taxi driver, on the boat from the Birds, the whole thing is deliberately farcical. I think thats why he launches into things with no context, its kind of like how we see movies, escape from normal life. He is also informed by growing up in a eastern bloc country, one generation removed from WWII, his lens is a lot different than mine who wasn't hit over the head with obviously oppressive ideologies. The references to the Iraq war hit a lot closer to home.

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As an intellectual, I enjoy coming across some jerk off material every once in a while.

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> the word perverts makes me reticent to spout off on Facebook about how everyone should see this movie.

That's OK, the NSA knows all about you now! ;-)

Why does he call it the "pervert's" guide ... is he the pervert or the audience?

I think this guy is nuts, and I don't really see what sense he makes other than he just sounds too high.

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You don't understand him so he's nuts.

"...full of sound and fury..."

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Naw, he just has a very bad presentation, which along with unconventional and difficult views make listening to him too much effort than it is worth. I'm sure he's a great guy.

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Unconventional views are the only ones worth listening to, for me at least. This film wasn't really full of unconventional views though, but mostly fun little riffs on film criticism/psychoanalysis. He's wrong on almost everything, but I feel smarter for having listened.

"...full of sound and fury..."

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> Unconventional views are the only ones worth listening to, for me at least.

OK, but not all unconventional views are valuable. There is also the view, the point, and they idiosyncratic way this guy expresses himself.

If he is so smart, why the odd histrionics in his method of expression. He appears mentally ill sometimes. But some people somewhere have decided he has something to say valuable enough to not worry about presentation ... but I just don't see it. He is just another talking head trying to market his "experience" for money

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"Cinema is the true pervert artform. Instead of showing us our desires, it shows us how to desire."

Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

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