Director Sophie Fiennes capitalizes on Slavoj's engaging, provocative presentation. He knows that, to quote him, that "ideology isn't imposed but is our spontaneous relationship to our social world. We enjoy our ideology." In fact, to step as best we can out of ideology hurts, "truth can be painful, can shatter many illusions." And this, above all, is Žižek's agenda as he enlists psychoanalysis, theology, philosophy, and political and film theory in order to probe the assumptions of cinematic entertainment, including how nations and leaders have used it.
A scholar on the 2012 list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, Žižek shows his impressive range by deconstructing everything from director John Carpenter's "They Live" to Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" and "Full Metal Jacket," Marty Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" and Steven Spielberg's "Jaws," John Ford's "The Searchers" and Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will," "The Sound of Music" and Milos Forman's Czechoslovakian "Fireman's Ball" and "Love of a Blonde." Through his eclectic selections of scenes from over two dozen films, he maps out the ideas in Stalinism and Nazism, capitalism and socialism. Intellectually heady stuff, the analysis is always accessible and entertaining since Žižek has a fine sense of humor and a firm hold on our history and our fantasies.
Director of photography Remko Schnorr expertly recreates the art direction of black and white as well as color scenes, placing Žižek in the context of the action. Reinvigorating the films with his consideration of the social order, Žižek playfully strives to liberate us from a social straightjacket that we may not know constrains us.
The St. Louis premiere of "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology" is at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 10th through Wednesday, January 15th. For more information, you may call 314-968-7487 or on the web at: Webster.edu/filmseries.