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CONTEMPT | LE MÉPRIS

Director: JEAN-LUC GODARD

102 mins, France-Italy, 1963, 4K Digital, Subtitled

Newly restored in 4K digital, Le Mépris, or Contempt, sees Jean-Luc Godard wrestling, not for the last time, with the dichotomy of art versus commerce, reflecting some of the circumstances of the film’s production, although it is never in doubt which side the director favours. Novelist and playwright Paul (Michel Piccoli) is hired by avaricious Hollywood producer Jerry (Jack Palance) to rework an adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey, to be filmed by Fritz Lang (the great master playing himself), in order to give it more commercial appeal. When the producer makes a pass at Paul’s wife Camille (Brigitte Bardot), what she deems Paul’s lack of sufficient outrage causes a rift between the two.

The experience of making a big budget film with big stars was soured for Godard by the producers’ demands, and the result is an uncompromising masterpiece seething with anger.

IFI French Film Club: Tickets for the 18.30 screening on Wednesday 7th will cost €10.00 for IFI and Alliance Française members.

Notes by Kevin Coyne.

Book Tickets

Thursday 22nd

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