Monday, December 8, 2008

Contempt, Le Mépris

Contempt, released in 1963 and directed by Jean Luc Goddard tells the story of a writer, Paul, who is assigned the job of creating a script for a movie that is directed by Fritz Lang. The producer of the film is an arrogant American named Prokosch, who tires to seduce Paul's wife, Camille, played by Brigitte Bardot. Contempt was the one film which Jean Luc Goddard was able to create with such a large budget. He chose A-list actors, Bardot and Lang, and made the film in color. One interesting thing about this film is the fact that it is about film making, a sort of "meta-film". Goddard was able to portray one aspect of the "behind the scenes" cinematic world. However, the film is not entirely based on filmmaking. The relationship between Paul and Camille seems to be falling apart. Camille seems dependent of Paul, but at the same time extremely distant in their relationship. The half hour long scene in the couple's apartment is a good example of how and why the relationship faded between Camille and Paul. Paul tries to make Camille feel contempt as the couple lounges around the apartment, going from room to room, while discussing their current problems with each other. Throughout the movie, Camille seems disgusted with Prokosch's aggressivness, however, at the end of the film, she slowly warms up to him and ends up leaving her husband for him.

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