All of the film (with the help of the images, but also in the text of the "commentary") is built on the theme of water. Thus, one cites in it the poets of the flow of everything (Li Po, Omar Khayyam, Heraclitus, Bossuet, Shelley?), who all have spoken of water: it is time.
Secondarily, there is the theme of fire: the flash of the instant: it is the revolution, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, youth, love, negation in the night, the Devil, the battles and the "uncompleted enterprises" in which men go to die, dazzled as "voyagers who pass"; and the desire in this night of the world ("nocte consumimur igni").
But the water of pent-up time carries away the fire and extinguishes it. Thus, the brilliant youth of Saint-Germaine-des-Pres, the fire of the assault of the burning "Light Brigade" that drowned in the coursing water of the century when it advanced "under the cannon of time" . . . .
(Written by Guy Debord on 22 December 1977. Published in In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni: Edition critique (Editions Gerard Lebovici, 1990; Gallimard, 1999). Reprinted in Autour des Films (Documents), the booklet accompanying Oeuvres Cinematographiques Completes, a three-DVD set released November 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! January 2006.)