Friday, November 14, 2008

Critique de la séparation

Critique of Separation. FR 1961. PC: Dansk-Fransk Experimental-filmskompagni. D+SC: Guy Debord. DP: André Mrugalski. ED: Chantal Delattre. M: François Couperin, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. Voice: Guy Debord. Voice (during the credits): Caroline Rittener. Actress: Caroline Rittener. 35mm, B&W, 19 min. A Love Streams / Agnès B. print presented with e-subtitles in English by Ken Knabb edited by Tommi Uschanov. Avanto, Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 14 Nov 2008. - Guy Debord: "Before the credits, a hodgepodge of meaningless images is punctuated by a series of text frames — “Coming soon to this screen . . . One of the greatest antifilms of all time! . . . Real people! A true story! . . . On a theme the cinema has never dared to confront!” — while Caroline Rittener reads the following passage from André Martinet’s Elements of General Linguistics: “When one considers how natural and beneficial it is for man to identify his language with reality, one realizes the level of sophistication he had to attain in order to be able to dissociate them and make each an object of study.” All the rest of the film’s commentary is spoken by Guy Debord. Caroline Rittener also plays the young woman in the film. The music is by François Couperin and Bodin de Boismortier."
"The images in Critique of Separation are often taken from comics, ID photos and newspapers, or from other films. In many cases subtitles are added, which may be rather difficult to follow at the same time as the spoken commentary. The people who have been directly filmed are almost always none other than members of the film crew."
"The relation between the images, the spoken commentary and the subtitles is neither complementary nor indifferent, but is intended to itself be critical." Guy Debord, 1964
Excellent print. - Great self-irony ("one of the greatest antifilms of all time"), ironic Baroque music (like soon Greenaway with Nyman), media critique seasoned with loving looks at Paris, a fascination with the face of a woman, colonial violence, the world of commercials, found footage, the ravages of storms, a film which interrupts itself and does not come to an end.

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