La société du spectacle

Guy Debord

The contemporary world as a realm of easily-consumed, meaningless images. A world without actual freedom, where even a personal way of thinking is determined by a certain ideology. A political manifesto from the French philosopher and left-wing icon Guy Debord, whose critique of capitalist propaganda is still very current.

Subversive collage film made from footage by Guy Debord, activist and founder of the Situationist movement. Erotic images clash with scenes from films by the likes of John Ford and Orson Welles. The lines that Debord proclaims in the film are taken from his book The Society of the Spectacle (La société du spectacle, 1967), a work that fanned the flames of (student) protest in 1968 and that is still horribly relevant today.
In his aphoristic pamphlet, Debord concludes that modern societies are characterised by ‘an immense accumulation of spectacles. All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.' Consumer society reduces man to an observer and puts up a masquerade of advertising and media, in which consumer illusions are sold, increasingly alienating people from themselves: 'Reality arises from the spectacle and the spectacle is reality.' Debord argued for a new situation, in which consumers awake and start to create their own lives. This film serves as a wild wake-up call.

More information

Filmmaker
Guy Debord
Country
France
Year
1973
Medium
35mm
Length
88
Language
French
Producer
Gérard Lebovici
Production Company
Simar Films
Sales
l'Agence à Paris
Writer
Guy Debord
Editor
Martine Barraqué
Sound Design
Antoine Bonfanti
Music
Michel Corrette
Cast
voice of Guy Debord