A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
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 »
The Director, The Producer, Their Writer & His Wife
Fritz Lang, playing himself, is set to direct a more commercial adaptation of Homer's "Odyssey". Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance), the producer, despises art films and hires screenwriter Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli) to help Lang commercialize the movie. Javal 'offers' his young wife, Camille (Brigitte Bardot, sexier than ever, in one of her few serious roles), to Prokosch, thinking he'll get a better payment. But he didn't know that would sparkle Camille's contempt and ruin their marriage.
"Le Mépris" aka "Contempt" is Godard's existentialist, provocative essay of the relationships between artistic and commercial cinema, man and woman/husband and wife (he was married to his then-muse Anna Karina, with whom he made some of his best films; after their divorce in 1967, he married Anne Wiazemsky, with whom he made "La Chinoise", "Week End" and others). Gorgeously photographed by Raoul Coutard and scored by the master Georges Delerue, and with some "influences" of Antonioni's trilogy (L'Avventura, La Notte and L'Eclisse), "Le Mépris" is not my favourite Godard, but it's certainly a vigorous film. 9/10.
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