Monday, October 28, 2013

402. Le Mepris

Le Mepris
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

This is a film that I dreaded watching mostly because I was under the impression that it would be another pretentious French New Wave drama that would have me either falling asleep or searching for the nearest ledge.  However, while I can't say it was a favorite, there were certain components of this film that make it a must see.

First of all, the film was absolutely gorgeous.  The scenes showing the ocean and the mountains were of course beautiful but I am also taking about interior sets, such as Paul and Camille's apartment.  I don't know if it was the dazzling colors or the European architecture but I just wanted to keep staring at the screen; I didn't even care what was happening plot wise.

This was actually a good thing, since not a whole lot happened here.  A film producer hires Paul to rework the script of a movie that he originally gave to Fritz Lang (played by himself).  After Paul's wife, Camille, meets the producer she becomes remarkably cold towards her husband.  Or maybe cold isn't the right word; bitchy would be more correct since she calls him an asshole for no apparent reasons amidst ordinary conversation.  I was actually feeling sorry for the guy until he slapped her.  Then I was just kind of annoyed with both of them.

All right, let's get me criticisms over with, shall we?  First of all, the scene at their apartment after their meeting with Jeremy was ridiculously long and mostly consisted of Paul asking Camille if she wanted to go to Capri and Camille giving noncommittal answers.  By the end of the scene I just wanted to yell at the screen "someone make a fucking decision about Capri or I will!" Granted that threat is much pretty nonsense, but I meant it at the time.

Additionally, I started out thinking the music was very beautiful but then I ended up getting sick of it playing off and on every four seconds.  It was a nice score, I just wish that it was used more sparingly.

I am rambling on, aren't I?  It's funny, a fellow blogger just complimented me on my blog by saying I never ramble.  Kind of dropped the ball on that one.

I will wrap it up by saying that it was a gorgeous movie with lots of film references which is always fun for a 1001er.  Still, I think it could have been trimmed down a bit (probably what you are thinking right now about my review).

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Lang was virtually blind at the time this film was made.

Godard hated making this film.


  1. Godard had it all here: Beautiful sets, the hottest actress in 1963, good score, tons of movie references. He evn brought in Fritz Lang and filmed in glorious colors.
    And yet Godard managed to mess it all up and ruin the whole thing. It takes a special skill and Godard deserves points for that.

    1. Hard to make something unenjoyable if Lang is involved.

  2. As far as I can make out, the film is an intricate study about bottoms. The lead character (Bridget Bardot's bottom) takes centre stage with copious close-ups, but feels insecure when she catches her husband showing an interest in Francesca's bottom (played by Georgia Moll's bottom). The producer takes an aggressive interest in both bottoms. Extra artistic meaning and gravitas is added by comparing them to the bottoms of ancient Greecian and Roman art.

    Did I miss anything?