- LULU / PANDORA'S BOX
- DAPHNIS AND CHLOE
- FEDRA
- THE FUGITIVE KIND
- THE TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS
- PHAEDRA
- HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS
- YOUNG APHRODITES
- CONTEMPT
- PROMETHEUS FROM THE VISEVICE ISLAND
- SANDRA OF A THOUSAND DELIGHTS
- THE GOLDEN THING
- THE TRAVELLING PLAYERS
- EURIDICE BA 2037
- IPHIGENIA
- A DREAM OF PASSION
- CLASH OF THE TITANS
- THE YEARS OF THE BIG HEAT
- ENIOCHUS - THE CHARIOTEER
- ANTIGONE
- EDIPO ALCADE
- THAT'S LIFE
- BLADE RUNNER
- VERTIGO
- MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA
- ORPHEUS
- PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
- ULYSSES
- HERACLES AND THE QUEEN OF LYDIA
- BLACK ORPHEUS
- ANTIGONE
- ELECTRA
- JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
- ‘«Ň GORGON
- OEDIPUS REX
- ‘«Ň ILLIAC PASSION
- THE CANNIBALS
- ŐEDEA
- NOTES FOR AN AFRICAN ORESTEIA
- FOR ELECTRA
- PROMETHEUS IN THE SECOND PERSON
- VOYAGE TO CYTHERA
- ULYSSES' GAZE
- ‘«Ň MATRIX
- O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

CONTEMPT
LE MÉPRIS
France - Italy, 1963


Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard. Screenplay: Jean-Luc Godard, based on Alberto Moravia's novel. Director of Photography: Raoul Coutard. Music: Georges Delerue. Film editor: AgnŹs Guilemot, Lila Lakshmanan. Cast: Brigitte Bardot (Camille), Michel Piccoli (Paul), Jack Palance (Jeremy), Fritz Lang (himself), Georgia Moll (Francesca), Jean-Luc Godard. Production: Rome-Paris-Films (Carlo Ponti, Georges de Beauregard), Films Concordia (Paris), Compania Cinematografica Champion (Rome). Duration: 110 minutes. Colour.

Paul Javal is a detective story writer. Although his ambition is to make a career as a dramatist, he accepts the proposal of an American producer, Jeremy Prokosch, to work on the script of a version of The Odyssey, which is being filmed in Rome by Fritz Lang. Paul is in love with his beautiful wife, Camille, and he accepts this job to offer her a more comfortable life. However, Camille, upset by her husband's compromise, starts showing him contempt and finally starts up an affair with Prokosch. Paul refuses to write the screenplay as he believes that he will gain again his wife's respect, but it is too late. In Capri, where the film crew has moved, Camille leaves with Prokosch and they are both killed in a car accident. Paul returns home and Lang keeps on filming.

Moravia's novel, is a beautiful, popular book of wide-ranging appeal. Although it refers to contemporary events, it is full of feelings both traditional and futile. Very often, such novels become very good films.
I kept the original material and merely changed some details, keeping in mind that what a director films is different to the written material. Therefore, it obtains an original dimension of its own. There is no reason to change it in order to adapt it to cinema; the only thing needed is to film it as it is, to film the written material apart, of course, from some details, because cinema, above all, means film; otherwise, it would not exist. ŐéliŹs is very great but without LumiŹre he would had never become known.
I spoke of some details. One of those, e.g. is the hero's metamorphosis when moving from the fake adventure of the book to the real one of the screen, from indecisiveness to dignity. Another detail is the heroes’ nationality: Brigitte Bardot is no longer called Emilia, but Camille, and, therefore, she does not remind us of Musset. The heroes speak their own language and this reinforces the impression that they are individuals lost in a strange place (like in The Quiet American). For Rimbaud there was time; for Minelli fifteen days were enough; I only needed two: an afternoon in Rome and a morning at Capri. Rome represents the modern western world; Capri represents the ancient world, nature before the advent of civilisation and the latter's neuroses. In other words, Contempt could also have borne the title In Search of Homer, but we would spend too much time trying to locate Proust's influences on Moravia's prose and, besides, this is not our topic.
The theme of Contempt is humans who look at each other and criticise each other; then comes cinema – incarnated by Fritz Lang who plays himself – that watches and criticises them. […] I have already filmed the scenes of The Odyssey that Lang directs in Contempt but, since I play the role of his assistant, Lang will say that these scenes were filmed by his second crew.
When I think about it again, beyond the psychological story of a woman showing contempt to her husband, Contempt seems to be the story of the shipwrecked people of the Western world, the story of the rescued from the shipwreck of modern society who, like Verne's and Stevenson's heroes, disembark one day on a deserted and mysterious island; an island whose mystery lies, indubitably, in the lack of mystery: i.e. the truth. Odysseus’ wandering was a natural phenomenon, but I filmed a moral Odyssey: the gaze of the camera on the heroes who are in search of Homer replaces the gods’ gaze on Odysseus and his comrades.
Contempt is a simple film, without mystery. It is an Aristotelian film, unfettered by fake situations. This film proves in 149 scenes that in cinema – just like as in life – there is nothing hidden, nothing vague; the only thing we have to do is to live and make films.

Jean-Luc Godard
Cahiers du Cinéma, issue no. 146, August 1963