See the Trailer for Slavoj Žižek’s New Film, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

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11 thoughts on “See the Trailer for Slavoj Žižek’s New Film, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology”

  1. I used to love the wild musings of Zizek (and his hero, Lacan), but having read David Bordwell’s challenge to his work and the art/discipline of Grand Theory, I can’t take it seriously. Or, maybe, what I mean to say is that, as entertaining as it may be, it doesn’t hold up with much integrity as of late. Has anyone here–blogger or bloggee–considered the challenges to this way of art analysis where culture and sex drive subsumes every aesthetic detail of a movie and its making?

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    1. In my estimation, a critic’s ideas should illuminate or enrich or otherwise complicate the audience/reader’s experience of art (film, lit, etc.). If there are gaps or faults in the ideas (“theories,” if we like), I’m fine with that. A critic shouldn’t have to account for elements of the work that he does not set out to account for. If Keats’s idea of negative capability can’t/refuses to account for history, socio-economic factors, etc., I’m fine with that, for example. If Romantic conceptions of the “sublime” cover over a terrible sexism, I can also live with that with out discarding Kant, Wordsworth, etc. Zizek’s Lacanian/Marxist critiques clearly have limitations, but they inspire thought and analysis — they also connect with many people who (quite rightfully) have little or no interest in cultural criticism, which is too often a self-serious drag.

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      1. Damn, I see where you’re coming from and I appreciate such a middle-ground approach. I guess I just prefer simpler and more didactic critical interpretations — analysis that is less abstract, or at least more easily intelligible. With Zizek and others (like writers at Screen Magazine or Lacanian Foothold) you get the antithesis:

        “The problem is to understand the terms of the construction of the subject and the modalities of the replacement of this construction in specific signifying practices, where “replacement” means not merely the repetition of the place of that construction but also, more difficultly, the supplacement—the overplacing: supplementation or, in certain circumstances, supplantation (critical interruption)—of that construction in the place of its repetition.”– Whatthef***?

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        1. LOL. Yeah, “critical theory” is full of awful writing, or, more accurately, writing that relies on the reader to have a too-complete understanding of continental philosophy. Some of Zizek’s stuff is impenetrable—like his Lacanian film analysis ENJOY YOUR SYMPTOM—but stuff like VIOLENCE and his primer on Lacan is pretty accessible. I think his value is that his discussion of Freud/Marx in relation to pop culture is accessible, comprehensible, but also funny and even silly.

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          1. I think you are spot on: “writing that relies on the reader to have a too-complete understanding of continental philosophy.” In my Film Theory class I read a short work on violence by Zizek and, yeah, I don’t remember it being too oblique. I think it discussed films like Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Might be a different work from the one you mentioned though. I couldn’t find what I was looking for on google…

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  2. @Cory and Bibliokept:

    You have caught a good vein to discuss over Zizek in my opinion. Zizek in my reviews has clearly stated that he challenges what has been put forward (and accepted silently). He pushes over the boundaries of critique, but at the cost of what? From Sublime Object onwards, Zizek seems to write for a specific crowd, who have knowledge on Kant, Hegel and especially Lacan. This is where the problem lies. Zizek is, as he put, “relatively popular”. However, whence his popularity comes doesn’t have the theoretical background to grasp the totality of Zizek’s writing. Zizek discusses the ideas of Kant, Hegel, Kant, Adorno, Habermas and many other, with his extending and leaning over popular culture (as far as Kung-fu Panda), but most of what he articulates gets lost and thrown under the rug. What remains and looms over is the jokes and Hollywood movie-references (also delivered with bits of jokes). He is also somewhat annoyed by the fact that academics such as himself is ignored and not taken seriously within the academia (You can hear this in his documentary/movie Zizek!).

    What Cory has quoted in one of his posts is quite interesting. I believe that Zizek is not the one who complicated the things. He is not fully performing what Albert Einstein said, either, though (“Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler”). Critique of Pure Reason is when things started getting complicated. When you (think) understand CPR and start discussing over it, you become (or need to become) as complicated as CPR to convey your thoughts on CPR. The problem is where people who take Zizek seriously are standing. As far as I observed, they are somewhere between being too casual to understand Zizek and being too theoretical to produce theoretical extensions over Zizek’s line of thought. What remains is the jokes and laughters.

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