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The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

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The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySophie Fiennes
Written bySlavoj Žižek
Produced bySophie Fiennes
Katie Holly
Martin Rosenbaum
James Wilson
StarringSlavoj Žižek
CinematographyRemko Schnorr
Edited byEthel Shepherd
Music byMagnus Fiennes
Distributed byP Guide Productions
Zeitgeist Films
Release date
  • 7 September 2012 (2012-09-07) (Toronto)
Running time
136 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology is a 2012 British documentary film directed by Sophie Fiennes and written and presented by Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalytic theorist Slavoj Žižek.[2] It is a sequel to Fiennes's 2006 documentary The Pervert's Guide to Cinema. Though the film follows the frameworks of its predecessor, this film's emphasis is on ideology itself. Through psychoanalysis Žižek explores "the mechanisms that shape what we believe and how we behave."[3] Among the films explored are Full Metal Jacket and Taxi Driver.[4] The film was released in the United States by Zeitgeist Films in November 2013.[5]



Žižek appears transplanted into the scenes of various movies, exploring and exposing how they reinforce prevailing ideologies. As the ideologies undergirding cinematic fantasies are revealed, striking associations emerge: from nuns advising following your desires at The Sound of Music to the political dimensions of Jaws. Taxi Driver, Zabriskie Point, The Searchers, The Dark Knight, John Carpenter's They Live ("one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left"), Titanic, Kinder Surprise eggs, verité news footage, the emptiness of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," and propaganda epics from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia all inform Žižek's psychoanalytic-cinematic argument.

List of films discussed in this documentary


Also included is news footage of the September 11 attacks, 2011 Norway attacks, and 2011 England riots. Images are shown of a Rammstein concert.





"Though its ideas are indeed heady and high-flown, they are presented in a way that's consistently engaging and accessible. And the bearded, bulky, Slovenia-born Žižek comes across as a born raconteur and explainer, the kind of professor whose courses are deservedly his department's most popular. You don't have to share his materialist philosophy to find his analyses of culture and movies witty, insightful and usefully thought-provoking." —Godfrey Cheshire, RogerEbert.com[6]

"What remains? You will get a lot of answers to questions you never knew you had." —Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye for Film[7]

"Intellectual rock star Slavoj Žižek dishes out another action-packed lesson in film history and Marxist dialectics with The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, a riveting and often hilarious demonstration of the Slovenian philosopher's uncanny ability to turn movies inside out and accepted notions on their head." —Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter[8]

"Žižek's romp through pop culture feels like a strange dream, with a mad professor re-enacting our favourite movie moments through the eyes of a therapist. The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology is invigorating, zany, completely memorable and often hilarious. Žižek goes from praising Coca-Cola to analyzing what the shark attacks really mean in Jaws." —Matthew Hays, Rover Arts Review[9]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 92 percent based on reviews from 24 critics.[10]

See also



  1. ^ "THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 19 June 2013. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  2. ^ "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology: Toronto Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Pervert's Guide to Cinema's Fiennes and Žižek Reteam for Pervert's Guide to Ideology". indiewire.com. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  4. ^ Leigh, Danny (16 October 2011). "Slavoj Žižek: Blofeld rides again". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Perverts Uprising! Zeitgeist Films Will Distribute Two New Documentaries". IndieWire. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  6. ^ Cheshire, Godfrey. "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology".
  7. ^ Titze, Anne-Katrin. "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology".
  8. ^ Mintzer, Jordan (7 September 2012). "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology: Toronto Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
  9. ^ Hays, Matthew. "Deconstructing Hollywood".
  10. ^ The Pervert's Guide to Ideology at Rotten Tomatoes