Tribute to Jean-Luc Godard (1930-2022)
2:00PM: Contempt (1963, 103 min)
3:45PM: Trailer of a Film That Will Never Exist: Phony Wars (2023, 20 min)
– Introduced by Prof. Anne-Gaëlle Saliot (Romance Studies/Cinematic Arts)
Contempt (Le Mépris)
(Jean-Luc Godard, 1963, 102 min, France, DCP)
New 4K Restoration!
Jean-Luc Godard’s subversive foray into commercial filmmaking is a star-studded Cinemascope epic. Contempt (Le Mépris) stars Michel Piccoli as a screenwriter torn between the demands of a proud European director (played by legendary director Fritz Lang), a crude and arrogant American producer (Jack Palance), and his disillusioned wife (Brigitte Bardot), as he attempts to doctor the script for a new film version of The Odyssey. Based on Alberto Moravia’s novel Il Disprezzo, Contempt is a brilliant study of marital breakdown, artistic compromise, and the cinematic process.
“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
“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
“My favorite of Godard’s films is Contempt. […] It’s an elegy for cinema, for love, for honor, for western civilization itself.” – Martin Scorsese, Cahiers du Cinéma
Trailer of a Film That Will Never Exist: Phony Wars
(Jean-Luc Godard, 2023, 20 min, France, DCP)
At the time of his death in September 2022, Jean-Luc Godard had been in the midst of planning another feature, an adaptation of Belgian author Charles Plisnier’s 1937 novel Faux Passports. Though the film was never produced, the intricate and beautiful “trailer” that Godard put together in preparation now stands as his final work, a complex collage of history, politics, and cinema constructed of paper and glue, paintings and photographs, sound and silence. Godard often transformed his synopses into aesthetic programs. His swan song follows in this tradition and will remain as the ultimate gesture of cinema, which he accompanies with the following text: “Rejecting the billions of alphabetic diktats to liberate the incessant metamorphoses and metaphors of a necessary and true language by returning to the locations of past film shoots, while keeping track of modern times.”
Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival.