Contempt (4K Restoration) (1963)

1h 42m / Not Rated (R Equivalent) / Drama, Romance

A philistine in the art film business, Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance) is a producer unhappy with the work of his director. Prokosch has hired Fritz Lang (as himself) to direct an adaptation of The Odyssey, but when it seems that the legendary filmmaker is making a picture destined to bomb at the box office, he brings in a screenwriter (Michel Piccoli) to energize the script. The professional intersects with the personal when a rift develops between the writer and his wife (Brigitte Bardot).

Even with international stars, a best-selling novel by Alberto Moravia, two high-maintenance producers (Joseph E. Levine and Carlo Ponti), and the biggest budget of his career, director Jean-Luc Godard still succeeded in overturning the conventions of mainstream filmmaking, while producing a meditation on a crumbling marriage; post-Hollywood moviemaking; the pitfalls of international productions; and CinemaScope (“only for snakes and funerals,” chortles Lang). Godard’s most sun-splashed production, Contempt unfolds amid the airiest and most fabulous of apartments and villas, and against dazzling seascapes, with a complex color scheme dominated by a retina-searing red on robes, railings, convertibles, etc. And it has never been more vibrant than in this spectacular new Studiocanal/Rialto Pictures 4k restoration, which was unveiled for the first time at this year’s Cannes Festival.

French with English subtitles