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in Filmmaking
on Apr 17, 2007

MOMA this week offers U.S. viewers’ a rare chance to see Sophie Fiennes’ The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, starring Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek.

From the film’s site:

THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO CINEMA offers an introduction into some of Zizek’s most exciting ideas on fantasy, reality, sexuality, subjectivity, desire, materiality and cinematic form. Whether he is untangling the famously baffling films of David Lynch, or overturning everything you thought you knew about Hitchcock, Zizek illuminates the screen with his passion, intellect, and unfailing sense of humour. THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO CINEMA applies Zizek’s ideas to the cinematic canon, in what The Times calls ‘an extraordinary reassessment of cinema.’

The film cuts its cloth from the very world of the movies it discusses; by shooting at original locations and on replica sets, it creates the uncanny illusion that Zizek is speaking from within the films themselves. Described by The Times as ‘the woman helming this Freudian inquest,’ director Sophie Fiennes’ collaboration with Slavoj Zizek illustrates the immediacy with which film and television can communicate genuinely complex ideas. Says Zizek: “My big obsession is to make things clear. I can really explain a line of thought if I can somehow illustrate it in a scene from a film. THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO CINEMA is really about what psychoanalysis can tell us about cinema.”

The film runs today through Monday at MOMA, and DVDs of the film — which is commercially unavailable in the U.S. — are for sale at the Museum shop.

To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt in which Zizek takes on David Lynch and Frank Booth:

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