Also by Guy-Ernest Debord: More by this author...
Howlings in favour of Sade
by Guy-Ernest Debord
This is an internet translation of the 1952 French film Howlings in favour of Sade by Guy-Ernest Debord. Howlings was Debord's first film, produced when he was 23 years old.
Translators note >>> This film involves several periods of silence during which the screen remains dark. In this internet version, 30 carriage returns have been inserted for each minute of silence. This will not consume the intended time for the viewer, but it will present some sense of scale.
--Gregor Markowitz (December, 1994)
Voice 1 The film by Guy-Ernest Debord, Howlings in favour of Sade... Voice 2 Howlings in favour of Sade is dedicated to Gil J Wolman Voice 3 Article 115. When a person shall have ceased to appear at his place of abode or home address for four years, and about whom there has been no news whatsoever, the interested parties shall be able to petition the lower court in order that his or her absence be declared. Voice 1 Love is only worthwhile in a pre-revolutionary period. Voice 2 None of them love you, you liar! Art begins, grows and disappears because frustrated men bypass the world of official expression and the festivals of its poverty. Voice 4 (young girl) Say, did you sleep with Francoise? Voice 1 What a time! Memorandum for a history of the cinima: 1902 - Journey to the Moon. 1920 - The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. 1924 - Entr'acte. 1926 - Battleship Potemkin. 1928 - Un Chien Andalou. 1931 - City Lights 1951 - Birth of Guy-Ernest Debord. 1952 - The Anti-concept.--Howlings in favour of Sade. Voice 5 "Just as the film was about to start, Guy-Ernest Debord would climb on stage to say a few words by way of introduction. He'd say simply: 'There's no film. Cinema is dead. There can't be film any more. If you want, let's have a discussion'." Voice 3 Article 516. All property is either movable or immovable. Voice 2 In order never to be alone again. Voice 1 She is ugliness and beauty. She is like everything that we love today. Voice 2 The art of the future will be the overturning of situations or nothing. Voice 3 In the cafes of Saint-Germain-des-Pres! Voice 1 You know, I like you very much. Voice 3 An important Lettrist commando made up of some thirty members, all donning the filthy uniform that is their only really origional trademark, turned up at the Croisette with the firm desire of indulging in some scandal capable of drawing attention to themselves. Voice 1 Happiness is a new idea in Europe. Voice 5 "I only know about the actions of men, but in my eyes men are transposed, one for the other. In the final analysis, works alone differentiate us." Voice 1 And their revolts became conformisms. Voice 3 Article 488. The age of majority is fixed at twenty-one years; at that age one is capable of all acts of civil life. Voice 4 (young girl) His memory always rediscovered it, in a flash, as if burnished by fireworks on contact with water. Voice 1 He knew quite well that nothing of his exploits remained in a town that rotated with the Earth, as the Earth rotated in the Galaxy, which is itself only a tiny part of a little island which recedes away from us to infinity. Voice 2 All black, eyes closed to the excess of disaster. Voice 1 A science of situations is to be created, which will borrow elements from psychology, statistics, urbanism and ethics. These elements have to run together to an absolutely new conclusion: the concious creation of situations. Voice 1 A few lines from a newspaper from 1950: "A leading young radio actress threw herself into the River Isere, Grenoble. Young Madeleine Reineri aged twelve and a half, who, under the psuedonym of Pirouette, used to liven up the radio program 'Happy Thursdays' on the Alpes-Grenoble station, threw herself into the Isere on Friday afternoon having placed her satchel on the river bank." Voice 2 My little sister, we are nothing to look at. The Isere and la misere continue. We are powerless. Voice 4 (young girl) But no-one's talking about Sade in this film. Voice 1 The cold interstellar space, thousands of degrees below freezing point or absolute zero Fahrenheit or Centigrade; the first indicators of dawn approaching. The hurried passage of Jaques Vache through the clouds of war, that catastrophic haste which destroyed him; the rude lashing of Arthur Craven, himself swallowed up at that time in the Bay of Mexico... Voice 3 Article 1793. When an architect or a businessman is given a contract for the construction of a building according to a plan agreed to by the landowner, he cannot demand a higher price either on account of an increase in the workforce or materials, or due to any changes or additions made to the plan, unless such changes, additions or increases have been authorised in writing, and the price agreed with the landowner. Voice 2 The perfection of suicide is ambiguity. Voice 2 What is a love that's unique? Voice 3 I will only answer in the presence of my lawyer. Voice 1 Order reigns, it doesn't govern. Voice 2 The first marvel is to come before her without knowing how to talk to her. The hands of the female prisoners move no faster than race horses filmed in slow-motion, as they touch her mouth and her breast. In all innocence the ropes become water and we flow together towards the day. Voice 4 (young girl) I believe we'll never see each other again. Voice 2 Near a kiss, the llights of the winter street will end. Voice 4 (young girl) Paris was very nice thanks to the transport strike. Voice 2 Jack the Ripper was never caught. Voice 4 (young girl) It's funny, the telephone. Voice 2 What defiant love, as Madame de Segur used to say. Voice 4 (young girl) I will tell you some stories from my country which are very frightening, but they have to be told at night in order to be frightening. Voice 2 My dear Ivich, the Chinese neighborhoods are unfortunately less populous than you think. You are 15 years old. One day the most fashionable colours will no longer be worn. Voice 4 (young girl) I knew you already. Voice 2 The drift of the continents pushes you further apart every day. The virgin forest has moved less than you. Voice 4 (young girl) Guy, another minute and it'll be tommorrow. Voice 2 The Demon of Arms. You remember. That's it. Nobody satisfies us. All the same... The hail on the banners of glass. We will remember it, that planet. Voice 2 You will see that they will be famous later! I will never accept the scandalous and scarcely credible fact if the existence of a police force. Several cathedrals have been erected to the memory of Serge Berna. Love is only worthwhile in a pre-revolutionary period. I made this film while there was still enough time left to talk about it. Jean-Isidore, in order to get out of that transient crowd. On Gabriel-Pomerand Square when we've grown old. The little skivers all had glorious futures in the school and college systems. Voice 2 There are still many people that morality makes neither laugh nor cry. Voice 3 Article 489. The adult who is in a constant state of imbecility, dementia, or mad rage must be detained even though his state allows for intervals of lucidity. Voice 2 So close, so gently, I lose myself in the meaninglessness of language. I push into you, you're wide open, it's easy. It's like a hot stream. It's as smooth as a sea of oil. It's like a forest fire. Voice 1 It's cinema! Voice 3 The Parisian police force is thirty thousand truncheons strong. Voice 2 "The poetic worlds close up and forget by themselves." In a corner ofthe night sailors are making war, and the ships in bottles are for you who loved them. You lay yourself down on the beach as hands more loving than the rain, the wind and the thunder play under your dress every evening. Life is great in Cannes in the summer. Rape, which is forbidden, becomes banale in our memories. "When we were on the Shenandoah." Yes. Of course. Voice 1 And these resigned faces, which once bore flashes of desire like ink splattered on a wall, were like shooting stars. Let gin, rum and brandy flow like the Great Armada. This for the funeral oration. But all those people were so commonplace. Voice 1 We've had a narrow escape. Voice 2 The most beautiful is still to come, otherwise death would taste like a raw steak. And wet hair on the beach which is too hot and which is our silence. Voice 1 But he's a Jew! Voice 2 We were ready to blow up all the bridges, but the bridges let us down. Voice 1 Young Madeleine Reineri, aged twelve and a half, who under the psuedonym of Pirouette used to liven up the radio programme 'Happy Thursday's' on the Alpes-Grenoble station, threw herself into the Isere. Voice 2 Mademoiselle Reineri, in that quater of Europe, you will always have your surprised face and that body, the best of promised lands. Like neon light, words repeat their banal truths. Voice 1 I love you. Voice 4 (young girl) It must be terrible to die. Voice 1 See you. Voice 4 (young girl) You drink far too much. Voice 1 What are childish love affairs? Voice 4 (young girl) I don't know what you're talking about. Voice 1 I knew it. And there was a time when I regretted it very much. Voice 4 (young girl) Do you want a orange? Voice 1 The beautiful tearing apart of the volcanic islands. Voice 4 (young girl) In the past. Voice 1 I've nothing more to say to you. Voice 2 After all the answers at the wrong time, and youth getting older, night falls again from on high. Voice 2 We live like lost children, our adventures incomplete. The end.
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