1971-1980DocumentaryFranceGuy DebordPoliticsThe Films of May '68

Guy Debord – La société du spectacle AKA Society of the Spectacle [English Version] (1974)

Guy Debord’s landmark cinematic analysis of consumer society is based on his influential sociological book “La société du spectacle” (1967). Debord was a leading member of the avant-garde art movement ‘Situationist International’. This cinematic essay uses their method of ‘détournement’ to decontextualize and rearrange preexisting audiovisual materials and texts to critizise them and create new meaning. The result is a subversive collage of ideological (moving) images from socialist and capitalist societies that are presented here as artefacts of a global media ‘spectacle’: Social relations between people are mediated by artificial images and false representations that transform humans into mere passive consumers and ‘spectators’ of their alienated existence. Guy Debord’s motivation was to create a radical social critique and a disruptive, anti-illusionist cinema as an antidote and revolutionary tool against the dominant cultural and sociopolitical forces of his time.

San Francisco filmmaker Konrad Steiner has produced a dubbed version of this film using Ken Knabb’s English translation as read by artist/scholar Dore Bowen. Konrad also located and reinserted the original English-language clips from the many quoted films (which in Debord’s film were mostly dubbed in French). This enables English-speaking viewers to pay full attention to the images instead of trying to follow subtitles, and thus better perceive the complex interplay between montage, image, and language through which Debord presents his theses.

1.34GB | 1s 27m | 718×538 | mkv


Subtitles:English, French. Hardcoded Fr & En subtitles in some scenes


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