seven years is enough already!

we're no longer selling copies of Guy Debord's films

On 16 November 1996, exactly seven years ago today, we announced that we had obtained a subtitled copy of Guy Debord's 1973 film The Society of the Spectacle, which the subtitler (one Keith Sanborn) was selling for $30 each, and that we would be selling bootlegged second-generation copies for only $5 each. We were appalled by Sanborn's greed and concerned that the high prices would keep the film from being seen. (On 14 March 1997, we also started selling $5 bootlegged copies of Rene Vienet's 1973 film Can the Dialectic Break Bricks? which Sanborn had also subtitled and for which he was also charging $30 per copy.)

Three years later, on 11 March 2000, we declared that our intervention had been a success, and we announced that we were raising our prices slightly (from $5 to $10 per copy). And yet demand for the tapes, especially those by Guy Debord, remained strong; it even grew stronger. By 23 June 2003, we were so far behind in filling orders -- mind you, these copies were made, one at a time, on a pair of battered VCRs -- that we were forced to stop taking any new orders so that we could catch up with the old ones.

Today, 16 November 2003, we announce that, once we have caught up, we will not be taking any new orders for the films of Guy Debord, that is, The Society of the Spectacle Refutation of All Judgments [...] Concerning the film 'The Society of the Spectacle.' We aren't stopping because its too expensive (without raising prices again, to pay for worn-out VCRs) or because of pressure from the Debord estate. . . . No: it's because we're just sick and tired of dubbing videotapes all day long. Seven years is enough. We've made our point, now it's time to move on.

Sometime in 2004, all six of Guy Debord's films -- including the two we've been selling -- will be officially released in subtitled versions. Prospective buyers will have to wait until then. We don't know what the prices will be.

As for the Vienet film, Can the Dialectic Break Bricks? we will continue to sell it; otherwise it would be unavailable.

-- NOT BORED! 16 November 2003.

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