Yesterday I travelled to the far-north of London to catch the world premier of the Class Wargames film The Game Of War at the HTTP Gallery, close to Green Lanes. Divided into five segments of five minutes, the individual parts of this movie can be viewed in any order. While appearing to heap extravagant praise on Guy Debord, the film actually undermined his vanguardist positions by massively exaggerating the problematic self-promotional aspects of his film-making and other cultural-cum-politico activities. The spoken word Game of War soundtrack repeatedly exhorted viewers to play Debord’s game in order to make themselves more effective proletarian revolutionaries, and did so using the most blatant techniques of (post)-modern advertising. In their Communique 7 of 27/09/09, the Class Wargames collective put it this way:
“When Debord was working on the film adaptation of The Society of the Spectacle in the early-1970s, making a movie out of movie clips was very difficult. Buying celluloid stock, hiring editing suites and organising cinema screens had required serious money from a generous sponsor. Fortunately, over the past three-and-a-half-decades, digital technology has caught up with this Situationist technique. Class Wargames only needed a small grant from the Arts Council to fund a film constructed on a Mac laptop with Final Cut out of video from our performances and excerpts from our DVD collection. Best of all, we are now able to distribute our cinematic creation to a worldwide audience for free over the Net. Detournement is no longer the privilege of a minority of avant-garde artists. Media communism is now embedded in everyday life. Become a 21st century Debord – a director of remixed movies. Sweep away the anachronistic barrier of intellectual property. Switch on the computer, start up the video editing software, plug in an external drive filled with rendered DVDs and begin making your own film. Everyone is a practical Situationist. Ludic Labour!”
And while on the visual level The Game of War film appeared somewhat retro in its aesthetic (and this was clearly worked at and intended, because it isn’t typical of other pieces by director Ilze Black), the spoken script written by Richard Barbrook and Fabian Tompsett gave it a distinctively contemporary twist. Proletarian post-modern variants on the hoary tradition of mock praise are a groove sensation! “Guy Debord had the total revolutionary critique” (for the benefit of those not familiar with the genre of mock praise, this is a joke)! So look out for this movie once it hits the net, and if you are nearby check out upcoming Class Wargames events in The Hague (10 October), Newcastle (14 November) and Helsinki (14 November).
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!
Comment by Simon Strong on 2009-09-28 11:53:50 +0000
Woogah! Woogah! Sounds tops! How long is it?
Comment by Zen Master K on 2009-09-28 12:53:52 +0000
Forget The Game Of War, what the kids really need to do is get down with me and Tessie in a Game of Phwoar! Communist sex is the only kind that really rocks!
Comment by The Real Tessie on 2009-09-28 13:28:07 +0000
Watch it buster!
Comment by Joseph Conrad on 2009-09-28 14:19:04 +0000
Mister Debord, he dead.
Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-09-28 14:49:00 +0000
Film must be made by everyone. Not by one…
Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-09-28 18:42:16 +0000
The revolution will be a systematic derangement of all the senses!
And hey Simon, it lasts approximately 25 minutes. But times may vary if like us you are on drugs…..
Comment by Justin on 2009-09-28 18:46:10 +0000
Thanks for the info, will hopefully check out the Newcastle screening if time permits.
Comment by Justin on 2009-09-28 18:57:52 +0000
The Apocalypse is closer than ever…
Comment by Mark on 2009-09-28 19:25:35 +0000
Typical, I couldn’t get down there for it this weekend. Would have been nice to meet ya!
Comment by Twitch on 2009-09-28 20:23:15 +0000
Class wargames rock!
Comment by Matt Westfield on 2009-09-28 22:02:58 +0000
“Guy Debord had the total revolutionary critique” (for the benefit of those not familiar with the genre of mock praise, this is a joke)!”
Comment by Flea on 2009-09-28 22:28:26 +0000
The Sex Pistols said it best: “I am an anti-Christ…”
Comment by Luther Blissett on 2009-09-29 07:08:04 +0000
When Guy The Bore died the Italian reformist press responded with obvious, misleading ‘obits’ with nothing to be surprised about . The same lib-lab trash-shredders who swallowed and ruminated K. Popper’s dull tirades against TV, have later celebrated The Bore as a prophet of Berlusconi’s taking the field. For years the leftist Ignoranzhia has been mistaking the “spectacle” for the media insolence of the Establishment or the cyclic recurrence of people like Letizia Moratti, or Sgarbi-and Ferrara-style Tv rows… It ‘s no surprise then, that a critical theory attacking commodification and a system of production turning each of us in an insolent medium of the establishment, has been defused by a metonimy (the effect instead of the cause, the content instead of the container). Defusing the bomb was easy, due to its shortcomings, yet The Bore doesn’t deserve to be stored in the pantheon of leftist heroes together with Pajetta and Berlinguer where catto-togliattiani intellectual gravediggers are trying to put him, although as a heretic.
Read the rest at: http://www.lutherblissett.net/archive/052_en.html
Comment by Frank on 2009-09-29 09:48:34 +0000
Intellectual property is the last bastion of the bourgeoisie!
Comment by Dr. K on 2009-09-29 12:15:30 +0000
Situationism is for people who are afraid to leave their comfort zone and live their life with purpose and veracity. Instead they settle for Situationism whilst in the same instance defecating in the face of what it truly supposed is to be. Their rhetoric comes from the perspective of financial augmentation through selling out to what they believe the public wants to hear, not to what is truly in their hearts. Situationism is corporate rock and roll. It is the void of life.
Comment by Dr. K on 2009-09-29 12:19:27 +0000
and the sixth question in our Radical Thinkers giveaway competition is:
Comment by Justin on 2009-09-29 19:33:37 +0000
Does a man-eating shark eat women too?
Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-09-29 22:06:47 +0000
Only when it’s hungry!
Comment by Old Rope on 2009-09-30 12:20:20 +0000
A vegetarian shark only eats when it’s fungi
Comment by Simon Strong on 2009-10-06 04:11:59 +0000
“Class Wargames only needed a small grant from the Arts Council…”
WTF?! My taxes are paying for this? Eh?
Comment by Simon Strong on 2009-10-06 04:15:02 +0000
Ah… 25 minutes eh? That would explain the “five sections of five minutes each” reference…
With a “small arts council grant” I could make a film 25 friggin years long.