There’s this genre of documentary/film that is basically just smart weird guys giving readings of cultural products on camera. I’m really into it, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who reject these sorts of films on both good faith and bad faith grounds. Here are three that I like. And honestly since today everyone on Twitter and Instagram seems to be a sociologist and cultural critic and media critic these feel even more important.
A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (trailer)
From badass director Sophie Fiennes, A Pervert’s Guide features rogue pop communist psychoanalyst philosopher Slavoj Zizek on camera giving his perspective on how different popular media—from Stanley Kubrick to Coke commercials to Nazi propaganda—work on us psychologically in order to build up and maintain ideologies, or the meaningful stories we live by. It’s a very weird and very awesome cultural theory film, and is available on Amazon.
There is also the precursor that is much lower budget, much longer, and much more psychoanalytically focused called A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. It’s also available in full for free online HERE.
John Berger’s Ways of Seeing
In 1972 the BBC put out a short series of TV programs called Ways of Seeing that is basically just art critic John Berger going around to different European oil paintings and talking about them and their cultural and sociological significance. If you’re interested in art and how it intersects with race, gender, economic systems, etc etc this is a classic. It’s really awesome.