Contempt… that’s what ex-typist Bardot has for screenwriter husband Piccoli—but why? Does she think he used her to get a lucrative assignment (a screen adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey) from overbearing American producer Jack Palance? Was it a flirtation with multilingual interpreter Giorgia Moll? Or does she just not love him anymore?
Even with international stars (plus a cameo by legendary director Fritz Lang), a best-selling novel by Alberto Moravia, two high-maintenance producers (Joseph E. Levine and Carlo Ponti), and the biggest budget of his career, Godard still succeeded in overturning the conventions of mainstream filmmaking, while producing a meditation on a crumbling marriage; post-Hollywood moviemaking; the pitfalls of international productions; and CinemaScope (“only for snakes and funerals,” chortles Lang).
Godard’s most sun-splashed production – shot in color and CinemaScope, with achingly romantic music by Georges Delerue -- unfolds amid the airiest and most fabulous of apartments and villas, and against dazzling seascapes, with a complex color scheme dominated by a retina-searing red on robes, railings, convertibles, etc. -- never more vibrant than in this spectacular new Studiocanal/Rialto Pictures restoration, which unveiled for the first time at this year’s Cannes Festival.
CONTEMPT was restored and digitized in 4K by Studiocanal at Hiventy with support from the CNC.
Presented with support from the George Fasel Memorial Fund for Classic French Cinema and the Ada Katz Fund for Literature in Film
A RIALTO PICTURES RELEASE
“One of the defining moments of modern filmmaking. Thrilling in its stylistic freedom, hilarious in its dry wit and yet infinitely sad in its vision of a media-cluttered modern world cut off from the wholeness and harmony of the Greeks. Remains as vital and challenging as the day it was made.” – Dave Kehr “It still seems like an elegy for European art cinema, at once tragic and serene. This myth of baleful movie gods is also the story of irascible genius, he heard the song of the sirens and lived to tell the tale.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“ONE OF THE MASTERWORKS OF MODERN CINEMA, a singular viewing experience...a seductive bouquet of enchantments...a many-layered odyssey of intelligence and sensuality.” – Phillip Lopate, The New York Times
“A NEAR-PERFECT SPHERE, an exploration of the cosmos of sadness that can open up between a man and a woman, between a living room, a bedroom, and beyond.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice
“A film anyone interested in the cinema as other than popcorn entertainment should see.” – Derek Malcolm, The Guardian (London)
“GODARD’S RAVISHING MASTERPIECE...a meditation on classicism and modernism; an exploration of the phenomenon ‘BB’; a parable about prostitution, love and communication; and a study in beauty. JUST GREAT.” – Geoff Andrew, Time Out (London)
“GODARD AT HIS MOST CONCISE AND BRUTAL, confronting his two obsessions, love and movies.” – The Independent (U.K.)
“HAS THE GLOW OF GREATNESS...An acid satire, an act of worship...Sports the nimbleness of comedy, strolls defiantly in the direction of the tragic...Why this should break the heart I have no idea, but it does.” – Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
“GODARD CONJURES UP SEQUENCES OF SURPASSING BEAUTY...Has a movie ever been funnier or more frightening about the megalomania and mythologizing of film?” – Quentin Curtis, The Telegraph (London)
“ASTONISHING...one of the most gorgeous, giddy movies ever made.” – Richard Flood, Artforum
“THE GREATEST WORK OF ART PRODUCED IN POST-WAR EUROPE.” – Colin McCabe, Sight & Sound
“BARDOT+ GODARD = MOVIE GREATNESS.” – Time Out New York