from Guy Debord

To Gerard Lebovoci
17 January 1973

First search for cinematographic documents for The Society of the Spectacle.

A. Commercials films.

Charge of the Light Brigade (around 1936)
Johnny Guitar by Nicholas Ray (1953)
Rio Grande by John Ford (around 1950)
Shanghai Gesture by Josef von Sternberg (around 1941)
Robin Hood (around 1936)
The Knights of the Round Table (around 1955)
Prince Valiant (post-war)
The Prisoner of Zenda (post-war)
The Gladiators (Italian peplum, around 1965)

(and exploring Aurel's hypothesis concerning their method of specific financing)

Battleship Potemkin
The Decisive Turning Point (Russia, around 1946)
The Fall of Berlin
Stronger than the Night (D.D.R., around 1955)[1]

(Tell me as soon possible the titles we can have and the prices per meter or per minute. The films in boldface warrant particular effort.)

B. Newsreels (or any comparable documentary).

--May 1968. Street battles, assemblies at the Sorbonne, wildcat strikes (are there images of Seguy's speech at Renault on the 27th? at the beginning of the fire at the Stock Exchange?)
--Pop singers and especially their fans
--"Housing Projects" (Sarcelles, the neighborhood of La Defense, the Montparnasse tower, etc.), day and night
--Hitler at Nuremberg and his audience
--Speeches by Castro, Mao, Stalin
--Boxing matches
--Rugby matches
--Assembly lines in diverse (modern) factories; plans of "automated" operations
--Crowds lining up in front of movie theatres
--Assemblies of young motocyclists
--Astronautical newsreels: views of the roundness of the Earth from rockets that get further away. The Earth seen from the Moon. Men on the Moon.
--Diverse striking images of pollution (rivers and lakes; smog over towns, Paris, Venice, etc.)
--Views of congested highways, filmed by helicopters (Civilian Defense? Police headquarters?)
--Budapest: the toppling of Stalin's statue, street battles
--Police operations and riots, in Europe and in the USA (notably: Italy, Ireland, Germany, Spain)
--French C.R.S. since 1968
--Automobile racetracks -- in urban settings: racetrack in Pau and Monaco
--Recent aerial bombardments and helicopters in action
--The R.E.R. metro, the illuminated shops in the "merchant" stations of the Parisian metro
--Fashion shows (from 1965 to today)
--Warships: cruisers or battleships while firing, airports, atomic submarines
--Tanks of different armies; rockets on vehicles
--Strip-teases[2] (not too vulgar: of the Rina Renoir type in Dragees au poivre[3])
--Sessions of the Stock Exchange
--In Paris, excursion boats and transparent sightseeing buses carrying tourists
--Shanghai 1949: a little before the entrance of the Communists, civilians executed in busy streets
--Streeting fighting in Barcelona, 1936-37, if they can be found
--China in the 1930s. European troops guarding the concessions, warships attacking. The Japanese attack on Shanghai in December 1931 to March 1932
--Processions of the "Red Army" in Moscow
--Processions of the French army on 14 July
--Neon signs, at night (America, France, Japan, etc. in the places in which they are heavily concentrated)
--Rioting in Watts (August 1965)

C. Advertisements.

For example: Bas Dim, Cola-Cola (recent); Samaritaine; the "Colgate white teeth" series from the 1950s (with Genevieve Cluny).

(In general, advertisements that are "serious" in their presentations: no clumsy pleasantries nor animations. These must be obtained for free.)

D. Film previews.

For "B movies," principally detective films and Medieval adventure films.

E. In addition, a sound recording of several minutes of the voices over F.I.P. loudspeakers concerning Parisian traffic jams.

[1] Translator's note: the German title is Starker als die Nacht; directed by Slatan Dudow, 1954.

[2] Translator's note: English in original.

[3] Translator's note: Also known as Sweet and Sour, directed by Jacques Baratier and released in 1963.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1973-Decembre 1978 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2007.)

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