Le Mepris

I have no idea where to start when considering Le Mepris. Jean-Luc Godard has challenged me again. I suppose that may be the point of the film, though.

Le Mépris (or Contempt) is a 1963 film by Jean-Luc Godard starring Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, and Fritz Lang and is a film adapting a book about a film. Palance, a producer, has hired Lang to direct and adapt Homer’s Odyssey and feels forced to bring in Piccoli to re-write the script. What follows is Godard allowing the viewer to walk through the dramatic making of a film, including the effects it can have on the principals’ relationships.

For me, Le Mépris is a tough nut to crack, especially without having first read the book, although I am let to believe that there is a substantial difference between the two. I am not sure whether I should consider a parallel view of Godard’s life versus his films. The French New Wave movement did view the film industry with a great deal of contempt, but that correlation feels cheap (or overtly obvious).

It was interesting to see the dramatized production of a film and the push-back from the producer when the director tries to make the film they want to make it. From start to finish the film itself is gorgeous, with bright, vibrant, colors and crisp images; everything is pleasing to the eye.

Le Mépris is one of two things: a film that reminds you that Jean-Luc Godard makes films that force you to question what you know, or a film that  is just a film and nothing more. I do wish that there were more Godard films that piqued my interest; there is clearly something that I am missing.

Important Links

BFI Top 50: Le Mepris

Wikipedia: Le Mepris

Trailer

 

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