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on 30 July 2017
Ok film good
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on 10 May 2003
contrary to some of the above reviews, this is not a particularly accessible film and listening to the feedback of the 100 people who recently watched it with me is not necessarily for regular film buffs.
Some shots are painfully long and much of the narrative is shot in real time, so you may find it a bit slow, boring and after the finality of the death of the central female protagonist, you might feel pretty depressed! however, because godard is so occupied with making you as an audience work hard to unravel what's going on in the minds of the central characters, you might like that it's refreshingly challenging. its the kind of film that makes you realise how commercial hollywood cinema (something godard demonstrably disapproves of in le mepris) has a tendancy to lull you into the story and dictates to you how to interpret scenes and characters.
for those of you who seriously adore french new wave cinema, this is by no means a film that's easy to review and i can't begin to communicate how relevant and innovative a film this is. there are so many intrinsically placed themes that run alongside the production of the odyssey, the death of cinema as an art form, the breakdown of a marriage, the misuse of love and morality, the parallels between reality and fantasy...quite simply the film is its own work of art.
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on 30 April 2014
considered by many to be Godard's best film, this is an excellent transfer from Studio Canal, and includes extensive special features such as two interviews between Godard and Fritz Lang. highly recommended
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on 26 June 2011
Although shot decades ago, Le Mepris is still fresh and appealing through its stunning use of cinematography and colour. While the cast is of a high caliber, with the passing of time the 'who's-who' factor is increasingly irrelevant, and the film stronger still. It is true to say that the presentation of the story is at times a little over the top, laboured and self indulgent, but like a David Lynch movie, the plot can comfortably take second place to the message and seduction of the visual, as well as the film's hypnotic score. So perfect is Godard's movie, that its imperfections are largely lost in the experience of viewing and can be chosen to be ignored in contemplating the film later.
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on 22 May 2016
Brilliant French new wave film
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on 3 July 2017
When I saw this film in the cinema all those years ago my impression was that it's set mainly in Casa Malaparte in Capri. Watching it again on DVD I was surprised to find that the Capri section lasts no more than 20 minutes.
Those 20 glorious minutes showing, with loving care, probably the most spectacular house of the 20th century remain indelibly memorable.
The long apartment scene that precedes the Capri section, with its superbly fluid camera movements, is equally distinguished.
The whole film sufficed with sunlight and strong primary colours, and the supreme beauty of landscape & architecture (the Greek sculptures highlighted in colours is a brilliantly quirky Godard touch), in order to narrate the drama of a disintegrating marriage should not have worked, but somehow it does work under Godard's masterly direction.
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on 1 September 2011
Godard's Le mépris (1963) assembles a lot of prominence, of various dimensions: Brigitte Bardot as Camille, sex kitten and wife of Paul Javel, a script writer (Michel Piccoli), Jack Palance as the maniacal American producer Jeremy Prokosch, Georgia Moll as his hard-hit secretary, and finally Fritz Lang, playing himself filming Homer's Odyssey. The text is after Alberto Moravia's novel, Carlo Ponti is co-producer, so the location is Italy, Capri, Italian writer Curzio Malaparte's avant-gardist villa (built 1937).

All roles are taken to their extremes - from Miss Bardot's, as one critic called it, "mockery of the cinema business with tame nudity" to Fritz Lang's insistence on his view of the conflict between Odysseus, his far-away wife Penelope and Sea God Poseidon. Prokosch wants Paul Javal to rewrite the script and his wife for recreation. In the process, Camille declares herself out of love with Paul, in a debate of over half an hour and essentially one scene.

In the end, Camille elopes with Prokosch in his red sports car, both getting soon killed in a road accident with a fuel tanker. This end, of course, annihilates a lot of what seemed relevant earlier, including the inconclusive discussion between Lang and Javal/Prokosch. These, however, are not the only allusions to ulterior subjects - like the film industry, stardom, vanity and sanity ... Even without catching all these - you tend to get at least one more for each extra viewing - the film is immaculate, Godard's regular cameraman Raoul Coutard at his best in colour.
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Goddard clearly is a major figure in world cinema...
This is probably as good a print as you are going to see...
It has many interesting things about it...
The performances are very good...
But I was the only member of my family who stayed awake until the end....
Ah the problems of French New Wave.....
So if it's your sort of thing go for it...
If it's not - keep well enough away.
Oh yes the booklet and extras are very good and Colin McCabe's intro is useful too.
Still, ut's just rather hard work...
And to think this was Goddard's 'most commercial' feature....
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VINE VOICEon 29 May 2009
Godard's one flirtation with mainstream cinema is a magnificent visual essay critiquing itself. Cinemascope,a new-fangled toy, is a play thing to Godard, whether he's filming inside a new flat or the beautiful waters around Capri. He has Palance(the producer Jerry), and Bardot(Camille) in the same film with Lang(as himself), one of the Masters Godard revered. Paul(Piccoli) has been asked by the philistine producer, Jerry, to rewrite Lang's classical homage to the ancient world of The Odyssey. There's no depth to the film, but it is based on a Moravia novel and within its terms it somehow works. The essence of the film is the ebb and flow of emotions between the lovers, Paul and Camille,in the middle of the film shot effectively in the couple's apartment. Resentment grows into contempt, off-set by flickers of tenderness and love. Paul debates with Lang that Ulysses went to the Trojan war to get away from Penelope. He also says, Ulysses loves his wife, but she doesn't love him, in support of Jerry's view that Penelope is unfaithful. That story reflects his own with Camille. She, like Penelope develops contempt for her husband, Paul, as he sells out on this commercial enterprise,by using her as a bartering tool with Jerry. For Lang, the beauty of the Odyssey, is in the belief in reality as it is, without distortion. But he, like Paul, has to barter with lies in the market place. To Lang, Ulysses is a simple,cunning and daring man.Jerry just wants to seduce Camille and once he gets her by boat to his villa he does.

Ulysses told Penelope to be nice to the suitors. To win her love back he has to kill them. Bardot may never have struck one as an actress but in this film she pulls off the performance of a lifetime ,startled, vulnerable, flushed and defiant. The music,by Delerue is remarkable at conveying the tragedy and sadness of emotion.Palance is cocky,brash, a comic thug, as Godard sends up the type of producers he was dealing with. Piccoli is excellent as the young idealistic writer having to make compromises(a Godard figure). There are homages to good American film, great directors, his partner, Anna Karenin(hence Bardot's wig). The themes marinate in your mind, as it captures the aching, longing, heart-ache of young love gone wrong.There is a beautiful airy lightness on view.
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on 10 November 2000
The striking red-yellow-blue colours of this film frame a harrowing, enigmatic narrative which refuses to be reduced by simple explanations. The (predominantly male) eye of the camera tenderly takes apart Brigitte Bardot's beautiful body, the female object to be looked-at. But as communication breaks down in Camille and her scriptwriter husband's marriage, woman becomes subject and man becomes object - the object of contempt. Camilles's silences, that is what she refuses to explain to her husband, is her power, so her contempt for him is never explicitly explained in the film, leaving the spectator's mind to go over and over the sparse dialogue. In the idyllic Italian landscape, with its azure sea, the story of the Odyssey is made to resonate painfully with the tragedy of a perfect love turned irrevocably sour. There's no doubt that this is a sad film, and its rather dated style may seem strange to the modern eye, but it is still incredibly powerful and striking. This wonderful film won't leave your memory quickly.
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