Sophie Fiennes’ “The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology” extends the highly entertaining intellectual vaudeville that she and prolific Slovenian philosopher and showman Slavoj Žižek began with the kaleidoscopic entertainment, “The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema” (2006). Movies are still their mind, but Žižek now extends his daunting dialectics and deciphers them as vessels of far-reaching “ideology,” and the pair further their practice of inserting Žižek and his psychoanalytical discourse into sets modeled after Travis Bickle’s monastic cell of a bedroom from “Taxi Driver,” the dumpster-lined alley from John Carpenter’s “They Live,” the suicide latrine of “Full Metal Jacket,” and in full regalia as a nun from “The Sound of Music.” The heavy, heavily accented Žižek is an exhaustive and exhausting monologist of pop-cult mayhem: even the most ardent admirers of his mordant musings may wish they were served in smaller portions (as the earlier film was). Still, many fine points land with stinging accuracy; the portly post-Lacanian is a Santa of the zinger. (“I am already eating from this trash can all of the time, the name of this trash can is ideology. We are always eating from the trash can of ideology,” Žižek says on the site of Carpenter’s still-incendiary 1988 fight film/paranoia tract, before launching into one of the film’s most inspired flights.) “Libidinal investment?” Žižek explains. And explains. And… 34m. (Ray Pride)
“The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology” opens Friday, November 1 at Siskel. The trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.