La société du spectacle
The Society of the Spectacle
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.