FRANCE • DRAMA • 105 MINS • 1963 • PG
DIRECTOR: JEAN-LUC GODARD
CAST: BRIGITTE BARDOT, JACK PALANCE, MICHEL PICCOLI, FRITZ LANG, GIORGIA MOLL
Opening with one of the most famous shots of the legendary Brigitte Bardot, Contempt remains a glorious experience made for the big screen. Over fifty years on from its first release, Jean-Luc Godard's film remains a touchstone for world cinema, an incandescent work of intellect and passion, and a true movie icon.
Godard self-reflexively tells the story of a screenwriter, Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli), who is working on a script of The Odyssey, directed by film giant Fritz Lang (playing himself), and sure to be a box-office bomb. Art, commerce and personal affairs clash as Paul courts favour with brash producer Jerry Prokosch (Hollywood stalwart Jack Palance), and compromises his marriage to Camille (Bardot).
Contempt remains a miraculous contemplation of the corroding effect of the film business on those who aspire to raise it to the level of great art. Godard used colour for the first time, flooding the screen with stunning compositions,and composer Georges Delerue created one of his most heartbreaking scores. This newly restored version of Contempt is not to be missed.