Thursday, June 21, 2012


The death of a marriage can be hard on one or both members of the union. Okay, not as much if the couple essentially hates each other more than loves each other.

The best example is shown in Mike Nichols' Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but Jean-Luc Godard also provides such a portrait in Contempt. There's still a flicker of passion between Camille (Brigitte Bardot) and Paul (Michel Piccoli) when we first see them, but that fizzles out by the next scene of them together.

But this film isn't just about a crumbling marriage, oh no. It's also about making a film, in this case The Odyssey directed by Fritz Lang (as himself). Sure, it's not exactly what Francois Truffaut did with Day for Night, but it's also a French director's tribute to cinema though it's not as heartfelt.

Contempt displays many feelings frequently found in foreign films (say that three times fast), but mostly those that are regular in Godard's other work. Such feelings include disinterest, bitterness and, well, contempt. You don't see those feelings on a grand scale in an American production.

Contempt is a very fine film. Along with the acting and Godard's direction, Raoul Coutard's cinematography and Georges Delerue's score are both haunting and beautiful. It's a very bewitching film.

My Rating: *****


  1. A friend of mine reckons this is Godard's best film. While I'm not quite as kind on it, I did really enjoy it and it is an important Godard film admittedly. Nice to see you watching a few of his films. Try finding Les Carabiniers (The Carabineers). It's not one of his most popular ones but I think it's very underrated and one of his most accessible, funny and clever films.

  2. Really like Contempt (I also love how I recognized that reoccurring music, but couldn't quite place it at first. It's also used in Scorsese's Casino...). One of the more accessible Godard's, in my opinion.

  3. First time visiting your blog. Have not seen this film, but thought I would say hi anyway, and mention that I enjoyed poking around your site.

    1. And the award for the lamest attempt to get a follow back on their own blog goes to........

      Congratulations guys!

    2. "And the award for the lamest attempt to get a follow back on their own blog goes to........

      Congratulations guys!"

      ....Love it!


Comments are appreciated. More so if they are appropriate.