SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW: THE PERVERTS GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY

THE PERVERTS GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY review for the Sydney Film Festival by Salty Kernel, Claire Smith

THE PERVERTS GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY is part of the Sydney Film Festival in the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARIES section and will be screening on SUN June 9 at 6pm at Event Cinemas George Street, MON June 10 at 645pm at Hayden Orpheum Cremorne and SUN June 16 at 230pm at Event Cinemas George Street – tickets can be purchased HERE. Be sure to check out the entire program for the SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL HERE.

 

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

 

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj ZiZek presents a critique of popular films and popular culture in this sequel to his previous work, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema.

Zizek presents an open container of ideas on the possible symbolic interpretations of famous scenes such as the sinking of the Titanic, the 2011 London riots and several other films and events from recent memory.

 

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

 

There is some truly great photography work in this film, with Zizek appearing in costume, and on set of some of the more recognizable scenes of the films he is speaking of. This technique serves to lighten the mood, for example hearing Zizek speaking of opulence and upper class and then cutting to him in a small dingy on a moonless night to the background of the Titanic. It’s a clever technique used very well in this two hour and fifteen minute documentary.

 

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

 

Although the camera work is fun and lighthearted, the content is anything but. The concepts are presented with a certain air of humor and fun, but with Slavoj’s thick Slovenian accent it can be difficult to stay focused and I found myself getting distracted by the underlying scenes he was discussing. I think a major improvement that would be easily accomplished by director Sophie Fiennes would be to work on the sound mixing, and ensure that clip volume of underlying movie scenes is muted or at least lowered when Zizek is attempting to make a point, or talk over the top of them.

For the right demographic, this film would be a really captivating watch, but for me it rang too much like a university lecture and quickly lost my interest. For those philosophy or psychology students out there, I really think they will enjoy this film but it was just a little bit too inaccessible for the laymen out there – ie. me.

 

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

 

It’s a hard pill to swallow with distracting scenes and long stretches of arduous dialogue that make no semblance of a point. The fun and quirky presentation of Zizek in costume on the scenes of the referenced films does its darndest to make the ideas accessible to the common person, but for me it just didn’t hold my interest.

If you’re really heavily into psychology, philosophy and ideology, then this film is for you, but if you’re reaching for the dictionary to look up the meaning of any of those terms, give this one a miss.

I give it 3/5 pops.

 

3 Pops

 

 

No trailer as such but a brief conversation with Slavoj ZiZek.