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(Le Mépris)
France/Italy 1963. Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Cast: Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang, Giorgia Moll

Lionized by Sight & Sound critic Colin MacCabe as “the greatest work of art produced in postwar Europe,” the ingeniously self-reflexive Contempt is the first and finest of many Godard films about the making of a film. Both an obituary for the Hollywood cinema and a genuinely moving portrait of the breakdown of a marriage, the film features Michel Piccoli as Paul, a hired-gun screenwriter brought in as rewrite man on a big-budget adaptation of The Odyssey. The director of this movie-within-the-movie is no less than the great Fritz Lang, playing himself; Jack Palance is the project’s crass, interfering producer; while Brigitte Bardot is Paul’s bored wife Camille, who has grown to despise her husband for prostituting his talents. Godard, who appears as Lang's assistant, described the characters as “survivors of the shipwreck of modernity.” Based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, magnificently shot by Raoul Coutard, with a bold colour scheme of Mondrian reds and blues, Contempt is “a multi-layered odyssey of intelligence and sensuality [and] one of the masterworks of modern cinema" (Philip Lopate, New York Times). “Bardot + Godard = Movie Greatness” (Time Out New York). Colour, DCP, in French with English subtitles. 103 mins.



"Possibly Godard's most melancholy film and probably his most beautiful."

Village Voice | full review

"It emerges as one of Godard's most emotional films."

Salon | full review