Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 Cinemascope epic, Contempt—a movie about the making of a movie—opens with a nude Brigitte Bardot lounging in bed. “You like all of me? My mouth? My eyes? My nose? And my ears?” she asks her screenwriter husband. But of course he does. So why does he let the arrogant American producer (Jack Palance) drive off with her against her will? Is he using her to land a job writing an adaptation of The Odyssey (a rewrite that the famous director Fritz Lang—playing himself—doesn’t even want)? Or is he just a clueless male? Now in a vivid new print at Film Forum, Contempt is a powerful, complex story of a disintegrating marriage and the compromises that an artist is often forced to make for the sake of his art.
March 15-27, 2008