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Paul Javal is a writer who is hired to make a script for a new movie about Ulysses more commercial, which is to be directed by Fritz Lang and produced by Jeremy Prokosch. But because he let his wife Camille drive with Prokosch and he is late, she believes, he uses her as a sort of present for Prokosch to get get a better payment. So the relationship ends. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
It is possible that all "mistakes" in the film that involve visible equipment are intentional, or at least intentionally uncorrected: the film, after all, is about the artificiality of making a film, and the initial credit sequence shows filmmakers shooting the film itself. See more »
French cult-director Jean-Luc Godard made this masterpiece way in 1963 but it is still as captivating as it was then.
Featuring then superstar Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli as her husband- screenwriter who is hired to write a screenplay based on the ancient Greek myth `The Oddysey'. The story deals with the creative process of filmmaking as viewed by Godard, but also focuses on the breakdown of a mariage by the growing contempt of Bardot for her husband , whom she feels is selling out to greedy US producer Jack Palance.
This is a superb movie, not only for the frequent nude shots of Bardot (don't miss the beginning) but also for the beautiful sundrenched photography by Raoul Coutard, appearing as himself during the spoken(!) opening credits, the brilliant lyrical soundtrack by Georges Delerue and the inclusion of legendary german director Fritz Lang (wearing a monocle!) as an almost godlike figure. It all contributes to the poetic and spellbounding atmosphere.
Godard, who briefly appears as the assistant-director to Lang, made this when he was at the peak of his craft and it is among one of his biggest commercial and artistic successes. He was one of the most prolific 'auteurs' of the Nouvelle-Vague ( others being Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette) but his career petered out by the end of the sixties.
He still is active though, occasionally turning out mildly interesting movies. By the way, in the Vittorio de Sica comedy `After the Fox' (1966), Peter Sellers delivers a great parody number based on the Godard figure.
Brigitte Bardot was then also at the height of her popularity, reaching sometimes hysterical proportions. The filming was frequently interrupted and even delayed considerably by the intrusions of the Italian paparazzi. Incidentally, in the same year when Contempt was released she also appeared as herself in the US comedy `Dear Brigitte', where a schoolboy is completely smitten with her and desperately tries to get a date. His dad is played by James Stewart !
Try to see it in letterbox format, which gives full credit to the excellent use of the Cinemascope format.
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