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The Muppets go Situationist

I doubt I’ll be able to watch The Muppets again without quotes from Guy Debord popping up unannounced in my noodle. These magnificent images are the work of artist and writer Amy Collier, who posted them on Toast where she gives some explanation of her work in the comments:

Oh look! I found some history about Guy Debord’s “The Muppets”:

Though the name “Guy Debord” is now synonymous with two things: Situationist philosophy and The Muppets, this pairing of passions was not as easily reconciled as you might think. “I had to fight really hard not to be pigeon-holed as a Marxist theorist in the puppeteering community,” Debord once said. “They told me ‘Kids don’t want to hear about how the concrete life of everyone has been degraded to a speculative universe, Guy.’ I said ‘How about we let the children decide that?’”

Decide they did.

Years later, we remember him as both a Marxist visionary who criticized societies where modern conditions of production prevail in which all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles, and the beloved man who brought Kermit, Miss Piggy, as well as many other characters into our hearts.

You can read the rest of it here and now I can’t wait for On the Passage of The Muppets in Rather Brief Unity of Time.
More of Guy Debord’s Muppets, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Anna Karina Soap Commerical

Criterion just released the Blu-Ray version of 1962’s Vivre sa Vie, starring Jean-Luc Godard‘s one-time wife, but always expressive muse, Anna Karina.  Much like many a real-life Hollywood story, Vivre sa Vie charts an aspiring creative type’s descent into prostitution.  And while it may end in tragedy, the surfaces along the way are typically gorgeous to look at.

Karina would, of course, continue to appear in such essential Godard films as Band of Outsiders and Pierrot le Fou, but she was first introduced to the director in the French soap commercial below:

Interestingly enough, Karina’s soap commercial also makes an appearance in the Guy Debord film, On the Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Period of Time (previously on Dangerous Minds here).

As Karina lathers up, the Situationist engineer himself intones in a voice-over: “The advertisements during intermissions are the truest reflection of an intermission from life.”  While you’re left to ponder that one, check out what many feel to be one of Vivre sa Vie‘s more sublime moments, Nana’s Dance:

Bonus: Luc Sante on Vivre sa Vie

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Alice in Guy Debord-land

The initial peek at Tim Burton’s Alice tale looks plenty striking, but, in the meantime, you might want to check out this two-part adventure as envisioned by visual artist, Robert Cauble.  The imagery comes straight out of Disney.  The dialogue, though, that’s a far more curious matter.  As Cauble explains it:

Alice, unhappy with her prim, proper existence in Victorian England, travels through time into an age that allegorically resembles our own.  There, she encounters elitist tea-partiers and a philosopher cat, before she is consumed by an assaulting music video.  Her only hope for understanding this foreign world of spectacle is to somehow find Guy Debord.

That’s right, Alice desperately needs to locate Guy Debord, noted theorist, filmmaker, and founder of the Situationist International.  It’s wacky, yes, but there’s a method (of sorts) to Cauble’s madness.  He aims to embed these shorts as “special features” in the Disney disks themselves, so as to render,

the meaning of the whole product ambiguous.  Within the confusion as to the legitimacy of the d?ɬ

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment