Week Six Blog

Contempt was so different, which actually makes it not any different from all the films we have been watching, but specifically I noticed a few elements in the film that had to do with the framing of scenes, the theme and foreshadow, and the way the scenes set up the perspective.

The framing was prevalent in the house and there was definitely a lot of parts that just signaled to the failing relationship between the two. Whenever they were in the shot together, the depth of the multiple doors and walls gave the idea that the two were always separated whether it be physically or mentally.

There was a lot of foreshadowing of some tragedy happening, I noticed. The first signal was the line where Paul told Camille that he loved her tragically. Then there was their interpretation of the Odyssey and how Ulysses killed Penelope’s suitors. During the scene where she leaves for the movies, he pulls out a gun. When he catches Camille kissing Jeremy, he walks down the steps where the wall was completely red, and there was an appearance of the gun once again. It becomes blatantly obvious that something is going to go wrong.

Finally: perceptions. The way the props are used and the way they are filmed and framed seems to mean more than the dialogue sometimes. The film enjoys using scenes where one person is clearly in the shot talking to someone that is not seen. This creates the rift mentioned before of the broken relationship. The characters are not seeing each other face to face, they are simply speaking empty words to each other. The whole of this film conveys the one theme of detachment between the two characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film. The weird usage of color and editing did throw me for a loop but overall after discussion, I understood the purpose of the film. Thank you for listening to my attempt on analyzing the film!

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3 thoughts on “Week Six Blog

  1. I’m really glad you pointed out the foreshadowing elements because my favorite part of this film was the way Godard used framing and props as metaphors for Camille and Paul’s relationship. The scene where the couple is in their house together and they are having a conversation from different rooms was a great way to draw a parallel for how although they are “together”, they no longer see eye to eye. A truly in love couple would spend as much time together as possible, whereas these two are clearly abusing their time alone together.
    To add on to the scene you mentioned where Paul sees Camille kissing the director, the music also played a big role in foreshadowing. When Paul walks down the steps with the gun in his hand, the music was really suspenseful and loud, leading me to believe he was going to shoot the director right then and there. This showed how props and sound working together can evoke strong emotions from the audience.

  2. I never realize those signals using Greek references completely, but looking back on it, it actually makes perfect sense. Especially in the context of what he is doing. The parallel between the two is almost uncanny. Thinking back on the framing and position of certain props and actors, it was all too often that our “tragic” couple was framed and positioned in a sense that always made them on the opposite side from one another. The apartment scene is of course the most obvious one that majority of people has brought up. Another scene that stuck out to me is the theater scene with its hectic nature. Here, Paul is with the producer talking about the film whereas Camille is with Fritz Lang. Another thing I’ve noticed that is that Camille generally looks disinterested whenever in the presence of Paul. the prop of the gun, which initially seemed to be playing a major role later in the film, merely went unused and basically died down it’s seemingly important role. I like to think that in relation to the couple’s relationship, it seemed very intense, but in the end just fizzled.

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