Guy Debord, 1961
Shot September-October 1960 and edited January-February 1961. Production: Dansk-Fransk Experimentalfilmskompagni. 20-minute short, 35 mm, black and white. GTC Laboratory; sound recorded at Studio Marignan.
Cameraman: André Mrugalski. Editing: Chantal Delattre. Assistant Cameraman: Bernard Davidson. Continuity: Claude Brabant. Grip: Bernard Largemain.
Before the credits, a hodgepodge of meaningless images is punctuated by a series of text frames — “Coming soon to this screen . . . One of the greatest antifilms of all time! . . . Real people! A true story! . . . On a theme the cinema has never dared to confront!” — while Caroline Rittener reads the following passage from André Martinet’s Elements of General Linguistics: “When one considers how natural and beneficial it is for man to identify his language with reality, one realizes the level of sophistication he had to attain in order to be able to dissociate them and make each an object of study.” All the rest of the film’s commentary is spoken by Guy Debord. Caroline Rittener also plays the young woman in the film. The music is by François Couperin and Bodin de Boismortier.
The images in Critique of Separation are often taken from comics, ID photos and newspapers, or from other films. In many cases subtitles are added, which may be rather difficult to follow at the same time as the spoken commentary. The people who have been directly filmed are almost always none other than members of the film crew.
The relation between the images, the spoken commentary and the subtitles is neither complementary nor indifferent, but is intended to itself be critical.
—Technical Notes on "Critique of Separation