Tag Archives: Guy Debord

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. Read More »

Brigitte Cornand – Guy Debord, son art et son temps (1995)

Except for a few brief evocations of Debord’s “art” during the first ten minutes or so, most of this “antitelevisual” video consists of television clips illustrating the extreme degradation and delirium of the present society. It’s a powerful denunciation, but not so deft and subtle as Debord’s films, perhaps because it was made during the worsening stages of his final illness. Presumably intended as a parting shot at the society he detested, it was completed shortly before his death in November 1994 and shown January 9, 1995, on a French cable channel along with La Société du Spectacle and Réfutation de tous les jugements (whence the video copies that have since circulated). Read More »

Guy Debord – The Society of the spectacle AKA La Société du spectacle (1973)

This film by Guy E. Debord is based on his 1967 book of the same title both of which convey ideas about the consumer capitalism’s mode of production and the effects on everyday life. Though both sources use a different means of communication they both powerfully convey the ideas of the situationists. I wont rant on about the ideas contain within this film which are quite profound and have influenced heavily on the Anti-Capitalist movement and post-structuralism through thinkers like Jean Baudrillard. The structure of the film itself is a series of shots from Hollywood films to soviet “collective hero” film experiments to soft-core porn(nothing past topless) to archival footage of historical events(e.g. May 68 revolt in France) and representations of everyday life. Read More »