Zeitgeist Films // 2012 // 136 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // February 16th, 2014
We are responsible for our dreams. This is the ultimate lesson of psychoanalysis -- and fiction cinema.
How are political thought and dogma expressed in films such as They Live, Titanic, The Sound of Music, Taxi Driver, and Jaws?
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.
Guilty of making the summer blockbuster a piece of propaganda to be
deconstructed and analyzed to how it relates to our dreams and destiny.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Zeitgeist Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 136 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
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