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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathDebord

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unavailable since Debord published detailed scenarios of his film works in both journals and books on a number of occasions. The first three scenarios appeared in a volume entitled (indicatively) Contre le cinema (Against the cinema) [fig. 6.4] published by the Scandinavian Institute for Comparative Vandalism in 1964, [37] and in 1978 the scenarios of all six of Debord´s films were made available in the collection Oeuvres cinématographiques completes, 1952–1978 (Complete cinematographic works). [38] With only one exception, which will be articulated below, the study of Debord´s anti-spectacular cinema is forced to take recourse to the only available traces, the appropriately nonspectacular textual scenarios.

8. Postface: Debord and the Dispositifs of Cinema

Debord’s 1984 withdrawal of his films of course poses the question as to why his outrage at the murder of Lebovici would be best served by retracting them, by making them unavailable in France? Perhaps it was just a practical matter—Debord recognizing that without Lebovici´s funding, his own private cinema (in fact nothing less than the ultimate cinematic dispositif,


a sort of ciné-Bayreuth St. Germain auteur palace) might have to close, leaving him with effectively no place to show the films anyway, so rather than simply have their unavailability imposed by banal material conditions, he would take the initiative and make their very public withdrawal from (an already very limited) public circulation an ethical gesture. Irrespective of intention, it certainly had the effect of generating a substantial aura around the films: no better way to render films mythical than to ostentatiously withhold them. One could also argue, however, that the elimination of the possibility of witnessing the films as phenomenal events served effectively to reduce a certain auratic effect that they undoubtedly had when one could still see them. Since Debord had published the screenplays a few years earlier, together with a very small number of images, in a 1978 volume entitled Ouevres cinematographiques completes, 1952–1978, the removal of their spectacular dimension, of the films as a celluloid record of polymorphous détournements, was a way to insist on their fundamentally textual status, by eliminating even the vestigial but undoubtedly powerful acoustic aura of Debord reading

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