My rating: 7
IMDB rating: 7.8
IMDB link: The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema
Slavoj Zizek is the world’s leading mind on psychoanalysis in films, and this is his first documentary…
Living in the post-modern (or post-post-modern as some would say) world, we are accustomed to being able to look at different forms of literature through different ‘frames’ as it were. Marxism, feminism, new historicism… all these provide us with ways to not only categorize texts, but also to de-construct texts in such a way that we are able to reconstruct them to suit our needs.
One of these frames that emerged in the modern world, survived to the post-modern world and is probably the most influential ‘frame’ on post-modern literary critics is the field of psychoanalysis. Popularized by the theories of Freud, Jung and Lacan, to name a few, this field provides us with the means of contextualising literature in terms of the self, in terms of the psycho-analytical.
I often refer to voyeurism and the cinema as both the voyeur’s megaphone (in terms of the director) and the means by which voyeurs are created (in terms of the viewer). These voyeuristic outlooks are products of Freud’s study on scopophilia and Lacan’s mirror theory (in a very complicated way that I would one day like to investigate more fully).
I am going to go ahead and call this documentary the ‘bible’ of psychoanalytic studies in films. It starts with this excellent quote by Zizek, himself:
“Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn’t give you what you desire – it tells you how to desire.”
Zizek truly is one of the greatest minds of our time. If challenging yourself ideologically, especially with regard to film, is something you are interested in be sure to watch this amazing documentary on the art of cinema.
He discusses the following films, so I would really recommend watching them beforehand. Also, your knowledge of the Hitchcockian and Lynchian filmographies should be up to date.