Museum looks at cinema as an illusion

Museum looks at cinema as an illusion

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Museum looks at cinema as an illusion

Interpreting various films from the history of cinema, Slavoj Zizek maintains that cinema dictates to us how to desire and therefore is a perverted art. The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

Philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s latest documentary has inspired a cinema program at Istanbul Modern. The program, “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” to be screened at Istanbul Modern Cinema takes its title from Zizek’s documentary. The program will continue until May 23.

Interpreting various films from the history of cinema, Zizek maintains that cinema dictates to us how to desire and therefore is a perverted art. In the film “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” which is part of the program, our guide Zizek opens the doors to a cinema beyond the simple story we witness. The selection, on one hand, extends from a village in Laos that holds onto its traditions to the 1968 movement in Europe, while on the other it presents films that address cinema’s relationship with psychoanalysis and virtually demonstrate that cinema is an illusion and a desire machine.

The program screens many documentaries and films. Zizek teams up once more with Sophie Fiennes in “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” which is a kind of sequel, in formal terms, to his first documentary, “The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema,” in which he explores cinema’s relationship with psychoanalysis. Zizek, who views our current society as post-modern, said society was dominated by a consumerist ideology and that its values are enjoyment, fantasy and desire. By applying psychoanalysis to various examples from Hollywood and world cinema he discloses the ideological messages hidden in the text. Besides films such as “Taxi Driver,” “Jaws,” “Titanic,” “Full Metal Jacket” and “The Dark Knight, the documentary includes messages used in certain films from world cinema made mainly for propaganda purposes and in commercials of major commodity brands in the consumer society.

“Something in the Air” by Olivier Assayas is the recipient of the “Best Screenplay” award at the Venice International Film Festival. The film addresses the turmoil of European youth following the 1968 movement. Centered on the student rebellions of the late 1960s, “Something in the Air” follows high school student Gilles and his friends to take a look at France in the 1970s.

“Imagine,” which is a coproduction of Poland, U.K., Portugal and France, is about Ian, a visually impaired person, who has long since given up using a cane by applying the echolocation method, thanks to which he has been able to take part in life. Ian believes that one can make problems disappear by imagining the world outside. He starts working as an instructor at a clinic for the visually impaired in Lisbon, where he begins teaching students daily using unorthodox training methods. The film won the Best Director and Audience awards at last year’s Warsaw Film Festival.

“Song for Marion,” which was directed by Paul Andrew Williams is about Arthur. After losing his wife, Marion, to her fight with cancer, Arthur, a 72-year-old grumpy pensioner, heads into a life of isolation and distances himself from his son and grandchild. But after a while he is drawn by the charm of the unconventional choir to which Marion was devoted.

“God Bless America” is another movie to be screened at the program. Frank, who believes he should rid American society of vicious individuals, loses his job and learns that he has a brain tumor on the same day. After his first kill Frank comes across Roxy, who is ready to rebel against everything and at least as enraged as he. Before long, with his help she will turn into a killing machine.

’The Rocket’

“The Rocket” tells the story of Ahlo, a young boy who is believed to be cursed because of a dam to be built in a village that preserves its traditions. Ahlo and his family are placed in a refugee camp. To prove that he is not cursed, Ahlo decides to build a giant rocket and enter the Rocket Festival. “The Rocket” is the first feature film for international release that was shot in Laos and won the Best First Feature, Amnesty International Award and Best Feature-Generation KPlus awards at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2013.

“Upstream Color” has won many awards. Shane Carruth won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival with his 2004 low-budget science fiction film “Primer.” The director’s second film, “Upstream Color,” is about a couple entangled in the lifecycle of an ageless organism. Intermingling romanticism, drama and suspense, the film draws attention to the degeneration of present-day relationships.