Cinema against the Permanent Curfew of Geometry: Guy Debord’s Sur le passage de quelques personnes à travers une assez courte unité de temps (1959)
Guy Debord’s short film Sur le passage de quelques personnes à travers une assez courte unité de temps (1959) places newsreel footage of French military violence in Algeria and advertisements for consumer products alongside panning shots of Paris’s Les Halles district and evocations of Debord’s Left Bank bohemian milieu. For Yoon, these juxtapositions offer a meditation on the simultaneous colonization of everyday life in the Parisian metropole and at the colonial periphery. But, they also diagnose the ways in which recognition of continuities between the revolutionary conditions produced by state violence were being systematically blocked or disavowed. Attending to the cinematic techniques employed in Debord’s film, Yoon argues their connection to the practical technique of dérive as contemporaneously theorized in Situationist circles.