Revolutionary in style and philosophy (22 May 2005)
Author: euripidies_1 from Australia
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. The way in which the scenes are manipulated work well with the voice over commentary reinforcing the ideas while hitting emotional notes. The Music also contributes well to the emotional sentiment which the director wants to be associated with different ideas and issues. The technique used reminds me of Wagner, how he used the structure of music to convey hopelessness and the philosophy of Schopenhauer in "The Ring" covering over the once socialists allegory for the contradiction of modernity. Debord and the situationists used their music to convey of the feeling of hope and the spirit negation (the negation of capitalism and the creation of a new "totality" of "situations"). Debord during this film highlights the influences of the "situationits" in the agitation for May 68 (the largest general strike in history). Henri Lefebvre criticized Debord on this point expressing the view that the situationists greatly exaggerate their influence on events. Other then the self-pampering which is small fraction of the film it is a well done piece of radical documentary both in form and content (style and ideas, though this dichotomy is to come degree false) which is quite interesting just for those uninterested or hostile towards Revolutionary Anti-Capitalism.