Scenes from a marital breakdown between screenwriter (Michel Piccoli) and his wife (Brigitte Bardot), as both become enmeshed in the behind-the-camera struggles of a director (Fritz Lang) and producer (Jack Palance) as they film an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey.
Based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, Contempt is one of director Jean-Luc Godard’s most beautiful and sensual films, which makes this new 4K restoration particularly exciting. French New Wave cinematographer Raoul Coutard filmed much of the action in and around Casa Malaparte, a jaw-dropping modernist villa overlooking the infinite blue waters surrounding the island of Capri. The marital breakdown between Piccoli and Bardot is mirrored by the artistic conflict he has with the crass producer Palance. The great director Fritz Lang, director of Metropolis, M, and many great German and American films is in some ways a stand-in for Godard himself. The majestic score by composer Georges Delerue adds emotional resonance to this extraordinary film.
In French with English subtitles. Director: Jean-Luc Godard (France 1963) 103 min.
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