Screened as part of NZIFF 2013

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology 2012

Directed by Sophie Fiennes

Stand-up psychoanalytic cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek gets inside some epochal movies -Jaws, Taxi Driver, Titanic, The Sound of Music and many more – to explore what they were really trying to tell us. Provocative and funny.

Ireland / UK In English
135 minutes



James Wilson
Martin Rosenbaum
Katie Holly
Sophie Fiennes


Remko Schnorr


Ethel Shepherd

Production designer

Lucy van Lonkhuyzen

Costume designer

Debbie Millington


Steve Fanagan


Magnus Fiennes


Slavoj Žižek


Toronto, London 2012; Rotterdam, San Francisco 2013

With infectious zeal and a voracious appetite for popular culture, stand-up psychoanalytic theorist Slavoj Žižek gets inside some epochal movies, all the better to explore how they reinforce prevailing ideologies. ‘This hidden, obscene permission to do whatever you want belongs to the Catholic Church as an institution at its purest,’ he declares, breathless from the pursuit of meaning in one of the most popular movies of all time. He’s dressed as a priest lurking in the shadows of the Mother Superior’s office in The Sound of Music. What’s more, he splutters, he’s not the first from former Yugoslavia to detect nefarious intent in ‘Climb Every Mountain’. The song was cut from the film by the censors there. Taxi Driver, Jaws, The Dark Knight, John Carpenter’s They Live (‘one of the forgotten masterpieces of the left’) and, most persuasively of all, Titanic are thoroughly infiltrated. News coverage, Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ and propaganda epics from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia also inform his stimulating, tendentious and highly entertaining rant.