September 30, 2023

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IAF cinematheque to screen “We Spin Around the Night Consumed by the Fire”

TEHRAN – The Cinematheque of the Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) will screen French philosopher and filmmaker Guy Debord’s 1978 documentary “We Spin Around the Night Consumed by the Fire” (“In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni”) on Monday. 

A review session will be organized after a screening in the Nasseri Hall of the forum at 5 pm by Iranian critic Puria Jahanshad.

The film’s title was derived from a Latin verse by the renowned poet Virgil. This is a palindrome that can be read endlessly in both directions, creating an enchanting, never-ending loop of words.

In the movie, Guy Debord serves as the narrator and boldly declares that he refuses to compromise with the preferences of his audience or the prevailing ideologies of his time.

By relentlessly mocking the very audience that seeks solace from their mundane lives at the cinema, this film takes a daring turn and transforms into a deeply personal work. It interweaves various captivating visuals from the world of spectacle, including eye-catching advertising brochures, captivating scenes from iconic films like “Les enfants du paradis,” engrossing comic strips, breathtaking aerial views of Paris, mesmerizing tracking shots through Venice, and nostalgic photographs of dear friends. 

Throughout this intriguing mix, Debord offers his profound commentary, occasionally tinged with a hint of melancholy, lamenting, “This Paris no longer exists.” 

He believes that experiencing the passage of time has been one of the greatest joys in his life. Moreover, he has cherished his era by observing the breakdown of social structure.

Guy-Ernest Debord (1931 –1994) was a French Marxist theorist, philosopher, filmmaker, critic of work, member of the Letterist International, founder of a Letterist faction, and founding member of the Situationist International.

He began an interest in film early in his life when he lived in Cannes in the late 1940s. Debord recounted that, during his youth, he was allowed to do very little other than attend films. He said that he frequently would leave in the middle of a film screening to go home because films often bored him.

Debord challenged the conventions of filmmaking; prompting his audience to interact with the medium instead of being passive receivers of information.


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