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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathDebord

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his own words in the voice-over.

These were some of the questions that concerned me when I started working on Debord´s films in the late 1980s—and which led me to write to Debord via his publisher to inquire whether as a young American scholar I might be allowed to see the films. While I respected his ban on their screening in France, surely this would not preclude (so I wrote to him) an interested party such as myself showing them outside France say, in Germany? Debord´s response—and to my astonishment I actually did get a response which was the beginning of a long correspondence and, later, friendship—was that his insistence on France had been a function of his particular annoyance with the response of the French press: «Naturally,» he wrote in his letter of May 29, 1987, «I should have said: never again anywhere.» This ban would, of course, only be in effect as long as he was still alive, since one could hardly reproach him for what transpired after he was no longer around. That was in the late 1980s—and while I did ultimately get to see the films, albeit on video, at Debord´s summer residence in Champot in the haute Loire, it was not until years later that I realized just


how prophetic that letter was.

On November 30, 1994, in that same complex where I had enjoyed the privilege of being Debord’s guest and where I had been given full access to the films and had spent many an evening discussing (and above all drinking) till late into the night, Guy Debord took his life. Not even five weeks after his death, on January 9, 1995 Canal +, the French commercial television station, broadcast a rather remarkable program: a ‹final› made-for-TV work called «Guy Debord: Son Art et Son Temps» which Debord had produced together with a young director Brigitte Cornand, and following this, both the 1973 film «La Société du Spectacle» and the 1975 follow-up «Réfutations.» In other words, Debord´s films were suddenly not only shown, but shown on television (and then on CANAL +, perhaps the most commercial of French channels) with the result that they suddenly became widely available as video copies. What was previously radically inaccessible was now massively available, disseminatable, analyzable—which is to say, the films suddenly began to operate in a post-cinematic dispositif.

The fact that Debord’s final mediatic intervention

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