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Mépris, Le (Contempt) (1963)

Original Title : Mépris, Le
Director : Jean-Luc Godard
Writer : Jean-Luc Godard
Alberto Moravia
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Carlo Ponti , Georges de Beauregard , Joseph E. Levine
Music : Georges Delerue
Piero Piccioni
Photography : Raoul Coutard
Distributor : Embassy Home Entertainment [us]
IMDB ID : 0057345
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poster for "Mépris, Le (Contempt)" by Jean-Luc Godard (1963)
Mépris, Le (Contempt) (1963) - Jean-Luc Godard
 

Starring

Brigitte Bardot Camille Javal
Michel Piccoli Paul Javal
Michel Piccoli Paul Javal
 

Plot

Paul Javal, a writer, is hired to work out a script for the new movie about Ulisses, directed by Fritz Lang and produced by Prokosch. Because he let his wife Camille drive with Prokosch, and he is late, she belives, that he uses her as a sort of "present" for Prokosch to get get a better payment. So the relation breaks up. On Capri, an Italian crew makes a German film of Homer's Odyssey, Fritz Lang directs with American money. Prokosch, the producer, with his sneer and red Alfa, holds art films in contempt and hires writer Javal to help Lang commercialize the picture. Against this backdrop, we watch the breakup of Javal's marriage to Camille, a young former typist. It opens with the couple talking in bed, she asking assurance that he finds her attractive. Later that day he introduces her to Prokosch, and, unawares, blunders unforgivably. The rest of the film portrays her, in their apartment and in public, expressing her hurt and change of heart and his slow grasp of the source of her contempt.
 

Comments

Godard's mesmerizing take on mainstream Hollywood and the loss of love, interesting stuff, brilliantly presented! This lush, stylish story of a disintegrating couple's interactions with a grotesque Hollywood producer give Godard a chance to examine and present his views on the internationalization of Hollywood in the sixties, broken relationships and the state of the filmmaker's art.It's all beautifully evoked in CinemaScope by cinematographer Raoul Coutard, with a dream cast (Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli and legendary director Fritz Lang) and solemn music by Georges Auric.Among the most interesting aspects of the movie is how much of a "Godard" film this production eventually turns out to be in spite of the director's attempt to go for a more mainstream product.Visually arresting, intellectually stimulating and one of the great mid-century, art-house classics.It's great to see this picture given the "Criterion treatment" on DVD!
 
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Mépris, Le (Contempt) (1963) - Jean-Luc Godard
poster for "Mépris, Le (Contempt)"
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Mépris, Le (Contempt) (1963) - Jean-Luc Godard
poster for "Mépris, Le (Contempt)"
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Mépris, Le (Contempt) (1963) - Jean-Luc Godard
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