Against Cinema
Guy Debord Retrospective
  • Howls for Sade
  • On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Unity of Time
  • Critique of Separation
  • The Society of the Spectacle
  • Refutation of All Judgments, Whether in Praise or Hostile, Thus Far Rendered on the Film The Society of the Spectacle
  • In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (We Spin Around the Night Consumed by the Fire)
  • [1978]

    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.