Hurlements en faveur de Sade  

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Hurlements en faveur de Sade (Eng: Howlings in Favour of de Sade or Howls for Sade) is the first film by Guy Debord, created in June 1952. This black and white anti-film has a duration of 64 minutes and it premiered June 30, 1952 at the Parisian ciné club d'Avant garde.

Instead of using pictures, the entire film consists of black and white film leader in alternation for some 75 minutes. Debord’s voice is heard during the white sequences, while the black sections, often lasting minutes, are silent.

Voices featured are Gil J. Wolman (voice 1), Guy Debord (voice 2), Serge Berna (Voice 3), Barbara Rosenthal (Voice 4), Jean-Isidore Isou (Voice 5).

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Hurlements en faveur de Sade (English: Howlings for Sade) is a 1952 French avant-garde film directed by Guy Debord. Devoid of any images, the film was an early work of Lettrist cinema.



The image track of Hurlements en faveur de Sade contains no actual images, only solid white or solid black frames. It follows the sound track such that when there is speech the screen is white, and when there is silence the screen is black.

The sound track uses text détourned from Isidore Isou's book Esthétique du cinéma, John Ford's film Rio Grande, work by James Joyce, and the French Civil Code. The time between speeches becomes increasingly long throughout the film, and it ends with a 24-minute sequence of silence and darkness.


Debord wrote the original script for Hurlements en faveur de Sade during the winter of 1951–1952. His notes outlined a combination of original scenes and found footage. Debord planned to use newsreel footage, images of himself and other Lettrists, painted film stock, and sequences of solid black. For the film's soundtrack, his notes included Lettrist poetry, text by Guillaume Apollinaire, and music by Antonio Vivaldi. In April 1952 Debord published his original scenario in Ion magazine along with a preface titled "Prolégomènes à tout cinéma futur" (English: "Prolegomena to Any Future Cinema").

Debord abandoned most of his original plan for the film and instead used no images at all. He used speeches delivered by himself, Gil J Wolman, Isidore Isou, Template:Ill, and Barbara Rosenthal.


Hurlements en faveur de Sade premiered 30 June 1952 at the Ciné-Club Avant-Garde 52 in the Musée de l'Homme. The audience became unruly, and the screening was stopped after twenty minutes.

The film had its UK premiere in 1957 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

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