Documentarian Guy Debord is an avant-garde film-maker whose work, on exposure, has left little personal impact: this short is a tortuously didactic treatise on the conflicting relationship between film and reality. Initially, his ‘poetic’ narration and haphazard (at times, even subliminal) juxtaposition of images – a blend of stock footage (most of it, predictably, of a topical/political nature) and stills (one of which, amusingly, derives from Fox’s juvenile swashbuckling romp PRINCE VALIANT !) – proves arresting, being vaguely in the style of contemporaries such as Resnais and Godard. However, the film eventually overstays its welcome (despite only running 17 minutes) because the director seems to think that pretentiousness will carry itself!; for the record, this broadcast of CRITIQUE DE LA SEPARATION was preceded by an over-hyped trailer for it.
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