pervert's guide to cinema


the other day, i joined vencer, rico of kabataan party and a few others to watch The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, a lecture by philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek.

This is probably one of the coolest, and heaviest films that I have wathced for some time now. (The last one was a year ago with Waking Life).

Basically, Zizek used cinema as a means of explaining his arguments on psychoanalysis and at the same time, using psychoanalysis to explain the value of cinema in our time.

Zizek steps between iconic scenes in cinema history, including the fruit cellar in Hitchcock's Psycho, or in the scene where Morpheus offers Neo the two pills in the Matrix. In explaining his points, he used various movies, from the Marx Brothers to Hitchcock, Chaplin's The great dictator to Alien.

Of course, I'm yet to fully grasp the arguments being presented by Zizek in his lecture. For one, my knowledge of Freudian psychoanalysis is very much limited, second, we had some trouble with the speaker we were using, and third, it was real heavy stuff.

One of the points that I remember him saying was that today, Cinema is actually a necessity for us to understand reality. Especially since we are afraid to confront this reality or because reality is not "real" but is constructed.

I also remember him saying something about video gamers. Of course, it has long been said that people play video games because it enables them to be who they want to be but cannot because of the limitations set by society. However, Zizek points out that video gamers may also play games not because it allows them to be who they want, but who they really are.


The art of cinema consists in arousing desire, to play with desire, but at the same time keeping it at a safe distance. Domesticating it. Rendering it palpable…

The problem for us is not are our desires satisfied or not. The problem is how do we know what we desire? There is nothing spontaneous, nothing natural about human desire. Our desires are artificial. We have to be taught to desire.

Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn’t give you what you desire. It tells you how to desire.

-Slavoj Zizek, Pervert's Guide to Cinema, 1997

2 komento:

Anonymous June 28, 2007 at 11:57 AM  

Hallo blue monday,
thank you for linking to www.egs.edu - if you liked the zizek movie then you will be happy to hear that a new one came out - entitled "Zizek" - http://www.zizekthemovie.com/.
Allow me to add a shameless self promotion: you can also view Zizek and quite a few others on the youtube channel of the European Graduate School, I have uploaded some of our lectures. The account is "egsvideo" - http://youtube.com/profile?user=egsvideo and you can find entire lectures of Zizek, Agamben, Derrida, Baudrillard, Butler, Virilio etc ... Please enjoy the lectures, there are more on its way, it simply takes a while. Greetings from Europe, Feel free to contact me if you have any question. Hendrik.

guillerluna July 10, 2007 at 6:58 AM  

hoy, meron din akong kopya niyan, ata napanood ko na rin. hilarious talaga si zizek, parang pag binasa mo siya ganun din pala siya sa totoong buhay... hahaha. paborito ko yung vagina dentata part, taw ako ang tawang parang tanga.