Contempt (1963)

directed by Jean-Luc Godard
with: Michel Piccoli, Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang (as himself), Georgia Moll

Contempt is a very interesting film in Godard's career. It is a cynical and realistic viewpoint of the filmmaking business, where the writer, producer and director have personal interests that differ from each other and particular reasons for participating in a project (in this case, Homer's Odyssey).

Commercial cinema is always run by money and this may create conflicts with anyone who is involved in it. Director Fritz Lang wants to create an art film, while money-driven American producer played by Palance, tries to make a more mainstream version of it. Writer, interpreted by Piccoli, is in it for the money so that he can improve his marriage, but at the same time his wife is wooed by Palance and her love for her husband starts to fade.

Godard himself went through similar issues while filming Contempt, and they are noticeable in the film. This was the first movie where a producer offered him a big budget to shoot and produce, and a famous cast, with beautiful and talented Brigitte Bardot as the biggest star. Godard didn't have as much creative freedom as he did in his past films but it is still very Godardian. It was a new experience for him that influenced his following movies.

Essentially, Contempt is about the fading of a marriage. It is honest, witty, entertaining and sad, with attractive imagery and great editing. And Fritz Lang is in it!

Highly Recommended.
Rating: 9/10

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