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Zizek!2005

  • 4.0
The author of works on subjects as wide-ranging as Alfred Hitchcock, 9/11, opera, Christianity, Lenin and David Lynch, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek is one of the most important and outrageous cultural theorists working today. This captivating, erudite documentary explores the eccentric personality and esoteric work of this incomparable academic and writer who has been called everything from “the Elvis of cultural theory” to “a one person culture mulcher.” ZIZEK! trails the eminent and intrepid thinker as he crisscrosses the globe, racing from New York City lecture halls, traversing the streets of Buenos Aires, pit-stopping at his home in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In transit, Zizek obsessively reveals the invisible workings of ideology through a unique blend of Lacanian psychoanalysis, Marxism and pop culture critique. He is also unafraid to turn his critical gaze on himself, offering cutting commentary on his personality, private life and growing inter-national celebrity. ZIZEK! is both an unforgettable lesson in philosophy and a compelling portrait of an intellectual maverick. Possessing the capacity to appeal to the uninitiated in a way no other philosopher before him could, Slavoj Zizek’s combination of high and low culture will fascinate even those who once believed philosophy to be a bore.

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"Mr. Zizek is funnier, in person and on the page, than anyone whose mission is to fuse Hegelian dialectics with Lacanian psychoanalysis has any right to be." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times


4 members like this review

Zizek is the best kind of ideologue: a genius who has cleverly learned how to filter the world (and, in many cases, specific films produced by the West) and show it through his own lens. However, what makes him stand out is even if you don't agree with his ideology, his Freudian/Lacanian/Marxist interpretation of our cinema is compelling, often hilarious, and eminently watchable. I suggest "The Pervert's Guide to Cinema" and "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology" for more films about/starring Zizek. I highly recommend this documentary for a brief but not too brief (1 hr) look into the mind of one of the most brilliant philosophers of our time. Even if you fully disagree with his Marxist leanings, taking the time to understand his perspective and ideology will help you learn how to better argue against the best. I personally agree with him on a lot; watched this with a friend who agreed with nothing, but wanted more. That's the power of this man's ideas and creativity. 5/5

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Member Reviews (16)

112729.small
top reviewer

Zizek is the best kind of ideologue: a genius who has cleverly learned how to filter the world (and, in many cases, specific films produced by the West) and show it through his own lens. However, what makes him stand out is even if you don't agree with his ideology, his Freudian/Lacanian/Marxist interpretation of our cinema is compelling, often hilarious, and eminently watchable. I suggest "The Pervert's Guide to Cinema" and "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology" for more films about/starring Zizek. I highly recommend this documentary for a brief but not too brief (1 hr) look into the mind of one of the most brilliant philosophers of our time. Even if you fully disagree with his Marxist leanings, taking the time to understand his perspective and ideology will help you learn how to better argue against the best. I personally agree with him on a lot; watched this with a friend who agreed with nothing, but wanted more. That's the power of this man's ideas and creativity. 5/5

4 members like this review

Thoughtful review. Thx.

if you're not accustomed to Žižek's stream-of-consciousness ramblings or his wild gesticulations, you're not likely to walk away from this thinking anything other than "what a strange guy." If you have read him, or have had the pleasure of attending one of his speaking engagement, this is a very insightful portrait of a tremendous intellect.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

This is an entertaining, interesting portrait of a world-famous intellectual. I was only a little familiar with Zizek when I first watched the film, but that didn't matter. The combination of hearing him explain his theories and getting an idea of what his life is like makes for a really excellent doc. Astra Taylor does a great job, I look forward to seeing her other films.

1 member likes this review

Good to watch several times. You get more and more out of it. I love this guy.

1 member likes this review

This is a great film to help put a personality behind a considerable amount of publications pushing the world to think and ask questions in a deeper more meaningful way.

Everybody who wants to try thinking should view this film.

~Charles

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Interesting man and thinker.

If you're interested in Zizek but too intimidated to pick up his books, watch this first. It's a joyride of an introduction - Zizek's eccentric personality (and obvious irritation that you enjoy his eccentric personality) is the perfect cover for actual content. As Zizek says in the film, by disappointing your expectations he can force you to confront them!

Not that it's in any way a bad doc, but one gets the feeling while watching that it's Zizek, and Zizek alone, that makes the film really worthwhile. Only at the very end when the melodramatic piano music rolls over the credits did I get the full sense that Taylor had played it a bit too safe. She could have added some structure, even at the risk of being contrived. Zizek would have provided whatever texture was needed, by virtue of him simply being himself, to create the necessary linkages to form with language and ideas. Originally, long ago, I had trouble with Zizek the man and some of the things he had said (which I misunderstood as gimmicks) in his lectures and forums, etc... I was wrong. Not only is he obviously quite charming, but extremely interesting, if only as a truly unique person, let alone a philosopher, in these times that are so barren of original thought, and chock full of paralyzing political correctness—which seem to provide his nervous ticks and idiosyncrasies a channel to serve as a countervailing spirit.

Zizek sure says a lot of stuff. I think of him more as an entertainer than a philosopher, who has to keep speaking and mesmerizing so we don't realize that we're staring into a void. He is the ultimate post-modern philosopher, more Derrida than Derrida.

I recently watched The Perverts Guide to Ideology which inspired me to check out this documentary. Zizek presents his thoughts in an interesting, often entertaining manner, and seems to be a deep thinker. I appreciate both the iconoclasm and the fun in watching him. He allows himself to be vulnerable which is part of the charm. I want to read and watch more.

I cannot critique this film on the basis of 'film craftmanship', nor am I a philosopher (just a hack). But I found that I am more likely to read this man's work now that I have some kind of overview about him and his POV. My background is in psych, neuro, and linguistics, and have read through Lacan in college, and that was my draw to this film. Great film about an interesting thinker.

Now there's a film i'm have to see again...

provocative. Wonderfully so.

i don't think he answered the boy's question at the end

Interesting