XL Popcorn – Le Mépris

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 682/1007Title: Le Mépris (Comtempt)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Year: 1963
Country: France

Here we are again with Jean-Luc Godard and I am left feeling a philistine for, once again, feeling no real interest in what I just watched. With all of his films that I’ve previously watched, I always end up feeling like this was time wasted on something that feels so incredibly shallow – and Le Mépris isn’t an exception.

Okay, so that’s a bit over the top. I had huge hopes for this in the first half an hour. I thought that Le Mépris might turn out to be Godard doing a sharp take on film making and, in the beginning, it felt like that. Fritz Lang (playing himself) has such a presence in the opening scenes, where he’s screening the dailies of his latest film, that I thought this could be something interesting.

Then came all the relationship drama between Camille (Bridget Bardot) and Paul (Michel Piccoli) which completely let the air out of the film. We just spend the rest of the film in a circular argument where Camille keeps baiting her husband how today is the day that she fell out of love with him and she refuses to tell him why.

We’re never able to leave this topic for nearly an hour and it just turns this film into a beautiful set of moving images. I mean, just look at the cinematography – so many individual shots in this film are works of art. But therein lies the problem, at least for me, a film that is pretty to look at and without much lying underneath the surface just doesn’t interest me.

There are still three more Godard films to watch and, by the looks of it, I am left with some of the lesser acclaimed ones to appear on the 1001 list. With all lists like this there is the chance of you finding things you dislike, however the films of Godard are at the point now where I am making myself watch this for the sake of list completion rather than the idea that I might end up enjoying them. Who knows, I might be turned around later – but for now I think I need more than 6 months before I put myself through another one of these.


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