Jean-Luc Godard's cynical look at the art of filmmaking follows a screenwriter in his attempts to recount Homer's THE ODYSSEY. Full of insights into the compromises required of filmmakers, as well as autobiographical allusions, especially concerning the failed union of Godard and actress Anna Karina, 1964's CONTEMPT is one of the most widely recognized films about the filmmaking process. It is also considered the film that made Godard realize that lavish productions were not for him, sending him back into a lower-budget world where he could maintain complete control over his films. Shot in glorious CinemaScope by Raoul Coutard, CONTEMPT is a poignant artistic commentary and a dramatic exposé of a dying marriage.
Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli) is struggling with Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance), the manipulative American producer financing his big-budget venture, and is frustrated by Fritz Lang (playing himself), the film's egotistical director. Concomitantly, his marriage to his gorgeous wife Camille (Brigitte Bardot) founders, and the emotional distance between them weighs heavily upon him.
Brigitte Bardot - French Actress, AND GOD CREATED WOMAN (1956)
Carlo Ponti - Italian Director/Producer
Jean-Luc Godard - French Director/Writer/Critic
Hans Lucas (aka Godard) - French Director/Writer/Critic
Georges Delerue - French Composer, JULIA (1977), DAY OF THE DOLPHIN (1973)
Joseph E. Levine - Legendary producer
Alberto Moravia - Italian novelist
Giorgia Moll - Actress
Michel Piccoli - French Actor
Jacques Piccoli - French Actor
Fritz Lang - German director, METROPOLIS
Jack Palance - American Actor
Walter Jack Palahnuik - American Actor
Walter Palance - American Actor
Georges De Beauregard - PRODUCER
Georges DeBeauregard - PRODUCER
Raoul Coutard - French Director Of Photography/Director
In this cynical look at the art of filmmaking, a director attempts to retell Homer's THE ODYSSEY. He wrangles with his own creative process and the coarse producer's ridiculous demands.
U.S. theatrical release: December 18, 1964. The film was re-released theatrically in several US cities on June 27, 1997. Filmed on location in Capri and Rome, Italy. Jean-Luc Godard's first attempt at big-budget filmmaking sparked major conflicts with his producers, triggering the now legendary nude scene that challenges viewers by boldly removing all sexuality from the situation. CONTEMPT was the first time Godard worked with an actress as famous as Brigitte Bardot.
"...[Bardot] seems very natural..." - 09/05/1997 Chicago Sun-Times, p.31
"Godard's masterpiece works on several levels: as a self-reflexive satire about filmmaking, as a study of relationship in its dying throes and as a reworking of a classical myth." - 02/01/2004 Sight and Sound, p.69
"Sardonically scripted, it was shot in luminous Mediterranean locales..." - 02/01/2004 Total Film, p.115
"[A] masterpiece, a poetic, deeply reflective reverie on the interplay between a disintegrating marriage and the problematic filming of THE ODYSSEY in Italy." - 07/11/2008 Los Angeles Times
"CONTEMPT has the additional fascination of being a movie about the movies in which the age-old conflict between art and business counterpoints a love affair at a crisis point." - 01/16/2014 Los Angeles Times