Monday, October 14, 2013

Milwaukee Film Fest 2013: The Perverts Guide to Ideology and Google and the World Brain

I saw these two movies back to back and both are movies that are designed to make you think and ask big philosophical questions so I decided to give them one review.

Lets start with The Perverts Guide to Ideology.  This documentary features Slavoj Zizek and uses movies to explain his theories on ideology.  Google and the World  Brain is very different but asks some big philosophical questions.  When Google attempted to scan every book in the world to make a world library accessible to everyone it sounded like a great idea at first but soon people became suspicious.

Slavoj Zizek is an interesting person.  He has a fun and interesting way of describing his thoughts on what ideology is.  The movie starts with him using the classic horror movie They Live to describe how ideology makes us blind to how things really are.  From there he moves on to other movies like The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Taxi Driver, The Dark Knight, and Titanic.  One of the more interesting connections he made was when he discussed what Jaws had in common with Nazism. That really blew my mind.  The movie is over 2 hours and even though he makes it fun and interesting it does feel like a 2 hour philosophical class.  The other problem with the movie is he has such a strong accent I didn't understand some of the things he was trying to explain.

Google and the World Brain is a fascinating documentary. The movie gets its name from the H.G. Wells concept of a world brain.  Wells concept was a where all the worlds knowledge was in one place and anyone could get access to it.  Well with the internet we are one step closer to the world brain concept then ever before.   When Google decided it would scan every book in the world into Google books they were taking it one step closer. But ethical and legal questions began to arise.  Was it legal to scan books that had active copyrights? Is it ethical for a private for profit company to be able to control access to the worlds books?  Obviously Google didn't think they did anything wrong but several lawsuits were filed and the legal battle began.  The documentary was interesting. At first it sounds like a great idea.  Everyone in the world should have access to whatever information they want but who should be the ones providing that access?

Overall  two documentaries that make you think. One about philosophical questions and the other about legal and ethical questions.
The Perverts Guide to Ideology - 3 out of 5
Google and the World Brain -4 out of 5

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