In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (We Spin Around the Night Consumed by the Fire)In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni
FRANCE / 1978 / French and others / B&W / 35mm (1:1.37) / 105 min
Director, Script: Guy Debord
Photography: André Mrugalski
Editing: Stéphanie Granel
Sound, Mixing: Dominique Dalmasso
Sound Effects: Jérôme Lévy
Researcher: Joëlle Barjolin
Production Company: Simar Films
Producer: Gérard Lebovici
Music: François Couperin (Quatrième Concert Royal, Onzième Nouveau Concert), Benny Golson (Whisper Not, performed by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers)
Voice: Guy Debord
International Distribution: Love Streams Production agnès b.
Source: Carlotta Films
“In any case, one traverses an era like one passes the Dogana promontory—that is to say, rather quickly. At first, as it’s approaching, you don’t notice it. Then you discover it as you come abreast of it, and you cannot fail to recognize that it was designed to be seen in this particular way and no other. But already we are passing the cape, and leaving it behind us, and heading into unknown waters.” (Debord)
Having been deported from Italy—where Debord lived from 1972 to 1977—for his political activities, he made this film as a kind of “autobiographical” film, reflecting on his actions and philosophy since the 1950s. The Latin title (In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni) is a palindrome. This film describes Debord’s directly-lived youth as his voice resists the institutionalized history that attempts to bring individual life into the dark of oblivion. Like his previous films, We Spin Around the Night Consumed by the Fire also uses innumerable détournements, but it has also acquired some lyrical touches. As illustrated by the pan shots of the Venetian canals, the aerial photos of the Seine, and the citation of Li Bai, Heraclitus, and Omar Khayyám, it thematizes the concepts of “water,” “drifts,” and “circulation” that serve as its axes. In the 1980s Debord envisaged a film, On Spain, and started to write the script, but it was never completed. As the assassination of Gérard Lebovici led him to abandon filmmaking altogether, this film became his last cinematic work.