Screened as part of NZIFF 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.