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Zizek at the Movies (again)

by Anthony Kaufman
March 16, 2006 7:16 AM
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For the couple thousand people who enjoyed Astra Taylor's documentary "Zizek!," about the wild and woolly Slovenian philosopher and pop-culture theorist Slavoj Zizek, be sure to check out "Art Shock: The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema" if ever it shows up on U.S. shores. The film, which is showing on UK television tonight, sounds hilarious (in a postmodern/Lacanian kind of way). Directed by Sophie Fiennes (brother of actor Ralph), the nonfiction experiment in film theory is highlighted in a story from the UK paper, The Times.

Here's Fiennes description of the project -- a concept only true cinephiles would love:

"The idea was to invert the notion of film as a purely ethereal medium. So I placed Zizek in the films themselves. We rebuilt Dorothy’s apartment in 'Blue Velvet' with footage of Kyle MacLachlan peeping from the closet. The reading is absolutely riveting. Zizek puts himself in Dennis Hopper’s skin. What is it about the scene that makes it so terrifying and compelling? For whose benefit exactly is this game being staged? “Zizek explores the answers from within. He sits on the loo which famously erupts with blood in Coppola’s conspiracy thriller 'The Conversation.' I rebuilt the cellar in 'Psycho' so Zizek could sit on the chair where the corpse of Norman Bates’s mother is discovered. And we hired a boat in Bodega Bay where Melanie is dive-bombed by a seagull in 'The Birds.'"

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