restricted access No More Flat Feet! (France, 1952)

The Lettriste International’s (an offshoot of the Lettristes founded by Debord) protest of Charlie Chaplin—a figure usually revered by the European avant-garde, and celebrated by Debord earlier in the year in his first film, Hurlements en faveur de Sade—is not noted in either Chaplin’s autobiography or any of the standard accounts of his life and work. Perhaps this is because of the political situation that overshadowed Chaplin’s arrival in Europe: on his way to the European premieres of Limelight (US, 1952), the American attorney general withdrew Chaplin’s reentry visa, under pressure from HUAC and allegations he was a communist. The protest where the LI tract was distributed took place at the Ritz Hotel, where Chaplin was thanking the French government for awarding him the Légion d’honneur. While trying to get through to where Chaplin was speaking, Debord and Serge Berna were stopped by the police in the kitchen of the hotel (ironically, they were thwarted because the police thought they were overexuberant fans of Charlot).