Two decades after Guy Debord put a stop to the screenings of his own films, his full body of audiovisual work is available once again, on film as well as DVD. Thanks to this retrospective his cinematic work, all too often disposed of as a derivative of his ideas and writings, can finally be rated at its full value. In Girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (literally: "We wander around at night and we are consumed by fire”) is his sixth and final film which he himself refers to, not without irony, as “the hard one”. In a way the title, an often-quoted verse in the shape of a palindrome, expresses the experience of an irrevocable loss, in form as well as content, and within the context of the film it refers to the situation of those who refuse to subject themselves to the laws of society around them. In Girum, set up as a triptych, addresses, first of all, the current spectator, who allows himself to be injected by an all-encompassing stream of images with dreams that aren’t his own. In stead of escapism, usually guaranteed by the film industry, Debord reflects cinema as a meaningless and transient accumulation of fictions and spectacles, frozen to the mirror of the screen. In the film the voice of Debord himself pronounces his condescension about the images it is made of: trivial and “fake” images, dug up from the ruins of film history and his own life course. he does not leave anything intact of cinematic language, maybe except for a reverse shot of the world as it is observed by cinema and a gradual tracking of the ideas which resonated through the twentieth century. The fundamentals are not made up of frivolous narrative conventions, but rather some kind of soul-searching. Debord both questions his own mystification and explores his motivations – a trajectory which takes him to Paris and Venice, passion and revolution, between myth and nostalgia.

The Ecran d’Art series is a monthly screening of artists’ film and/or video jointly organised by argos and Cinema Arenberg, in collaboration with La Cambre Academy

Guy Debord, In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni  
  • Thu 10.11.2005
  • Practical info

    Cinéma Arenberg
    Galerie de la Reine 26
    1000 Brussel

    Entrance Fee: 7 / 5,20 Euro

  • Artists