On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Unity of TimeSur le passage de quelques personnes à travers une assez courte unité de temps
FRANCE / 1959 / French and others / B&W / 35mm (1:1.37) / 18 min
Director, Script: Guy Debord
Photography: André Mrugalski Editing: Chantal Delattre
Continuity: Michèle Vallon
Production Company: Dansk-Fransk Experimentalfilmskompagni
Music: Händel (the ballet suite The Origin of Design), Michel-Richard Delalande (Caprice #2)
Voices: Jean Harnois, Guy Debord, Claude Brabant
International Distribution: Love Streams Production agnès b.
Source: Carlotta Films
As the title suggests, this film shows the various origins of the Situationist International movement (SI) as Debord shifted the base of his activities from the Letterist International (LI) to the SI. Philosophical, sci-fi and other texts are randomly cited and narrated by robotic voices. The images of Parisian landscapes, and of young people (Debord, Michèle Bernstein, Asger Jorn, and their SI friends) talking in cafés are effectively inserted. The film can be taken as the cinematic practice of Debord’s “Psychogeography,” in that it imprints on the footage the very flow of the people’s transformation in their everyday urban life, from their political awakening to actual participation in movement activities. By the same token, it more systematically employs Debord’s “détournement,” consciously citing preexisting footage and texts to displace their topologies. Jorn also took part in the film as a producer. Some extracts from a recording of the Third Situationist International Conference are used for the opening credit titles.