Great sequel to The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. I liked this one better – less psychoanalysis and more social/political discussion. Again we’ve got clips from films and new stories and music performances, with Zizek talking for the entire runtime, having been placed inside the sets from some of the films (“feel-ums”). Would be worth watching this a few times, a la the Adam Curtis movies, in order to grasp it all, but it’s simply less enjoyable than an Adam Curtis movie. Maybe if they got Craig Baldwin to edit the visuals and Mark Cousins to re-record the voiceover… but I digress.
Good idea to open with They Live. Besides the obvious bit with the clear text commands beneath billboards and magazines (“consume”) he discusses why the fight scene has to be so long and difficult.
Zizek speaks from inside They Live, The Sound of Music, a Coke commercial, A Clockwork Orange (I think), Jaws, Triumph of the Will (heh), The Fall of Berlin, one real location (an airplane graveyard), Taxi Driver, Full Metal Jacket, Brief Encounter, Seconds (good one) and Titanic (including a great post-credits stinger where he plays Dead Leo DiCaprio)
“The basic insight of psychoanalysis is to distinguish between enjoyment and simple pleasures. They are not the same. Enjoyment is precisely enjoyment in disturbed pleasure, even enjoyment in pain, and this excessive factor disturbs the apparently simple relationship between duty and pleasures.”
He uses Kinder Eggs (“a quite astonishing commodity”) as a metaphor about layers of enjoyment. I think by his logic that Edgar Wright movies are Kinder Eggs.
He defends Rammstein, showing concert footage that has been likened to nazi imagery. Actually, nazis come up a lot in this movie, and there’s a long section about Beethoven’s 9th, Ode to Joy (also feat. A Clockwork Orange).
How to properly mock communism: in Loves of a Blonde and The Fireman’s Ball, Milos Forman “mocks precisely the ordinary people in their daily conformism, stupidity, egotism, lust, and so on. It may appear that this is something very arrogant, but no, I think that this is the way to undermine the entire structure of the Stalinist universe, to demonstrate not that leaders are not leaders – they’re always ready to say ‘oh but we are just ordinary people like you’ – no, that there is no mythic people which serves as the ultimate legitimization.”
“How come it is easier for us to imagine the end of all life on earth, an asteroid hitting the planet, than a modest change in our economic order? Perhaps the time has come to set our priorities straight and to become realists by way of demanding what appears as impossible in the economic domain.” Seems that Zizek is advocating for revolution.