“The cinema too must be destroyed”
Not many films are made to deliberately discourage passive consumption. Instead of trying to entertain or seduce the viewer with aesthetically soothing shots this film deliberately interrupts itself and pauses to criticise the institute of cinema itself. It is a commentary on the fractured and fragmentary nature of everyday life with all its discontinuities, contradictions, hopes and frustrations.
The Situationist International was a small, predominantly French, avant-garde group that existed from 1957 until 1972. Unusually for a group of artists they produced very little art at all. Instead, they embarked on a critique of “spectacular society”, the culture industry and consumer society and published their thoughts in the journal Internationale Situationniste.
The group came to fame following the turbulent events of May 1968 where their slogans could be seen daubed on the walls of Paris as the city was engulfed in a worker and student uprising. The SI, though never more than a few people, has had an influence much greater than its numbers. Though how much original thought the SI actually developed is open to debate, much of their themes can be found in the pages of Socialisme ou Barbarie and in other works of critical theory. Perhaps, what was most original was their method of presentation and their insistence on spurning passive followers.
“This short film can be considered as notes on the origins of the situationist movement; notes which thus naturally include a reflection on their own language.” [Technical Notes on
Guy Debord’s First Three Films]