Friday, November 14, 2008

Sur le passage de quelques personnes à travers une assez courte unité de temps

On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Unity of Time. FR 1959. PC: Dansk-Fransk Experimental-filmskompagni. D+SC Guy Debord. DP: André Mrugalski. ED: Chantal Delattre. Voice 1: Jean Harnois. Voice 2: Guy Debord. Voice 3: Claude Brabant. M: George Frederick Handel, Michel-Richard Delalande. 35mm, B&W, 18 min. A Love Streams / Agnès B. print with e-subtitles in English by Ken Knabb edited by Tommi Uschanov screened at Avanto, Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 14 Nov 2008. - Guy Debord: "The spoken commentary is read in somewhat apathetic and tired-sounding voices by Jean Harnois (Voice 1, tone of a radio announcer), Guy Debord (Voice 2, more sad and subdued) and Claude Brabant (Voice 3, a little girl)."
"The sound track during the opening credits is from a recording of a discussion during the Third Conference of the Situationist International in Munich, primarily in French and German. The Handel theme is from the ballet suite The Origin of Design; the two themes by Michel-Richard Delalande are from Caprice #2 (a.k.a. Grande Pièce)."
"The spoken commentary includes a large portion of detourned phrases, drawn indiscriminately from classic thinkers, a science-fiction novel, and the worst pop sociologists. In order to go against the usual documen-tary practice regarding spectacular scenery, each time that the camera is on the verge of coming upon a monument this has been avoided by shooting in the opposite direction, from the viewpoint of the monument (just as the young Abel Gance shot a passage from the viewpoint of a snowball). The initial plan for this documentary envisaged more détournements from other films, particularly recent ones. (...) These extensive film-quotations were ultimately prevented because several distributors refused to sell reproduction rights for at least half of the scenes selected, which refusal destroyed the montage envisaged. Instead, more exten-sive use was made of the Monsavon soap ad, whose star (actress Anna Karina, trans. note) was to have a brighter future. André Mrugalski is responsible for the sequence of detail photos detourning the style of “art documentaries.”"
"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." Guy Debord, 1964.
A brilliant print, cinematography professional, an invigorating sociological essay. Anna Karina appears in a Monsavon commercial.

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