Guy Debord’s two short films On the Passage of a Few Persons through a Rather Brief Unity of Time (1959, 20’) and Critique of Separation (1961, 20’) are a comment on the way of living of the situationists in the city of Paris during the 1950’s. Partly documentaries, partly elegies on the passing of time and on the possibilities of the real, Debord’s films are testimonies of his quests in the streets of Paris during the 1950’s. Whilst being composed by a variety of documentary footage, of shots of Parisian places and of tracking shots of photographs of his friends, the films are a record of an invisible history that takes place within the city. The diegesis of the film is being formed by the narrator that argues about a micro-society that created a network of interactions within the urban landscape. I will be discussing the relationship between Debord’s films and the situationist project of unitary urbanism. In this context, I will be speaking about the situationist goal to intervene to the everyday life through the practice of the dérive (drift). Additionally, I will demonstate how the post war avant-garde focused on the means of intervention in the social morphology of the city. It is thus through the construction of situations that take place in the life of the city that Debord thought of creating new passions and a new esthetic subject. Finally, I will be speaking of how the aforementioned thesis has been depicted on a personal, political and social level in Debord’s films.
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