Subverting the Spectacle of Modern Times: Charlie Chaplin and the Situationists

Still from Modern Times

“The construction of situations begins beyond the ruins of the modern spectacle. It is easy to see how much the very principle of the spectacle – nonintervention – is linked to the alienation of the old world. Conversely, the most pertinent revolutionary experiments in culture have sought to break the spectators’ psychological identification with the hero so as to draw them into activity. . . . The situation is thus designed to be lived by its constructors…

-Guy Debord, from “Preliminary Problems in Constructing a Situation.”