The Society of the Spectacle
a screening and reading
December 4 @ 6.30 pm
The Gift Shop, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle
This experiment adds contemporary voices to the 1974 film ‘The Society of the Spectacle’ by Guy Debord, relocating it to the present-day American West coast. Debord’s film is a collage of advertisements, news images (related to political unrests of ’68 in France a.o.), soft porn, Hollywood and Soviet films, inter-titles, subtitles, and Debord himself reading parts of his 1967 book published under the same title. In his words the film is an attempt to use cinematic language to present revolutionary theory, “a critique of all aspects of modern capitalism and of his general system of illusion”. In 1984, after the assassination of his publisher and producer of three of his films, Debord withdrew all his films from circulation. In 2005 Alice Debord released a collection of his complete films on DVD, making this film again accessible. Ken Knapp published in 2003 a translation of all Guy Debord scripts into English. We will add one more layer, lending real voices to the missing subtitles, like an organ or piano once gave sound to silent films.
With: Gretchen Bennett, Heide Hinrichs, Margot Quan Knight, Sara Krajewski, Philip Miner, Matt Offenbacher, Shaw Osha, Rebecca Cummins