Instructions to the In girum Sound Engineer

Throughout the film you should equalize the loudness of the spoken commentary, not only between different sentences, but even within each sentence. I am not striving for any oratorical effect by stressing any particular words. Try to produce a tone that is cold, monotonous, and slightly distant (though obviously not so distant that it becomes inaudible).

The few phrases that are spoken over a blank screen (excerpts from Howls for Sade) should be distinctly less loud than the spoken commentary, as if coming from farther away.

As for the dialogues in the sequences from other films, respect their internal variations of volume, but tone them down slightly so that they don’t contrast too much with the commentary.

The music should be normal, relatively loud. Bring it to an abrupt halt at the end of each passage.



From In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni: Édition critique (Gallimard, 1999). This translation is from Debord’s Complete Cinematic Works (AK Press, 2003, translated and edited by Ken Knabb), which includes the scripts of all six of Debord’s films along with illustrations, documents, and extensive annotations. For further information, see Guy Debord’s Films.