Contempt (Le Mépris)
Dir/ Scr: Jean-Luc Godard
Orig Story: Alberto Moravia
Cast: Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccolo, Jack Palance,
Pho: Raoul Coutard
Eds : Agnès Guillemot, Lila Lakshmanan
Music: Georges Delerue
1963 / Colour / 35mm / French & English / Eng Subtitles / 103min
In Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt, the filmmaking process, with all its profound turmoil, is presented as a statement on human struggle. It's the story of a scriptwriter (Michel Piccolo, then virtually unknown) striving to make sense of his life while working on a rewrite of Homer's The Odyssey, torn between a wily American producer (Jack Palance), a dedicated European director (the great German and Hollywood filmmaker Fritz Lang playing himself) and his disillusioned wife (Brigitte Bardot, then freshly notorious).
The film is also a portrait of an art form, decaying, its decadence the result of its own success. "Contempt is the story of this world," declares a voice over early in the film. So are – or should – all movies.
The 35mm copy of Contempt is recently made from a new internegative. Print courtesy of Tamasa Distribution.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
* Post-screening talk with Bryan Chang
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