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"Love, for me, is an extremely violent act. Love is not ‘I love you all’ Love means I pick out something…. Even if this something is just a small detail, a fragile individual person, I say ‘I love you more than anything else.’ In this quite formal sense, love is evil."--Slavoj Žižek in Zizek! (2005).

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Zizek!, sometimes written as Žižek!, is a 2005 American/Canadian documentary film directed by Astra Taylor. Its subject is philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek, a prolific author and former candidate for the Presidency of Slovenia in the Council of Presidents of Yugoslavia.

Zizek! premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2005 and opened in one theatre in New York City on November 17. It eventually grossed $20,177 in the US and $20,154 in foreign markets for a total worldwide box office of $40,331.

Critical reception

A.O. Scott of the New York Times observed, "Ms. Taylor, clearly thrilled by her proximity to her hero, seems incapable of the analytical distance that would provide insight into either his ideas or the cultural phenomenon he represents. On the basis of this film, it is hard to know whether Mr. Zizek's superstar status is merited, or to say what his cult says about the state of contemporary thought. Zizek! is entertaining without being especially illuminating."

Eddie Cockrell of Variety called the film a "verbose profile" of Žižek containing "a lot of esoteric, eccentric theories, and little context within his globetrotting life."

Sean Axmaker of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer graded the film B and said it "attempts to put Zizek's philosophy into practical, accessible terms. Accessible, of course, being a relative term - key concepts are dropped through the film in snippets and sound bites that are gone before you've had a chance to really chew them over. You may not grasp his ideological philosophy, but you'll have a good time making the attempt."

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian rated the film three out of five stars, adding he thought it "doesn't quite have the interest and focus of Sophie Fiennes' recent Zizek documentary, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema."

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Zizek!" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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