Friday, February 29, 2008

Le Mépris



James Danziger spotted this one, suggesting the clip makes good weekend viewing. The absolute rejection of the clichés of movie trailer editing makes it amazingly fresh and unconventional after all these years. The Jean-Luc Godard film was released in 1963.




Godard portrays a collision between the United States and Europe from the sixties of the twentieth century, in which the Yankee money and the European conscience go for a walk: an artistically intended film about the Greek war hero Odysseus finally ends as a commercial kitsch adaptation. (That explains the otherwise puzzling thumbnail of the clip, doesn't it?)

The curator, Moniek Voulon, of a Dutch gallery was inspired in 1986 to take the movie as inspiration for an exhibition featuring the work of, among others, Yoko Ono.

She saw this story as an analogy of the events that led to the Iraqi war. As Godard shows how the cunning but jovial American film producer manages to break in the European script writer, Voulon points out how president Bush and his hawks managed to include the Europeans -and the Netherlands- in the war.

1 comment:

John Dunnicliff said...

One of the greatest films of the cinema. Bardot showed that she was not just a sex kitten but also a very good actor. At the height of her fame, her fee was half the budget of the film. It left only $200,000 for the production. Goddard had a complex relationship with his star. He tried to denigrate her blonde beauty by having her wear that ridiculous black wig. Jack Palance complained that Goddard onlt gave him mechanical direction and he wanted to know what was his motivation. Goddard was silent on the subject.
Receiving the finished film Sam Levine, in Hollywood, went bananas as there was so little nudity of Brigitte, the sole reason he put up the money. Goddard had to shoot the opening nude scene before he got final payment. On reflection he thought after all it wasn't too bad and he left it in his director's cut.
I watched it again last night and it is timeless.