Contempt is an outstanding film at face value, but an even more remarkable piece when broken down. This film should be applauded its use of cinematography and mise-en-scene. It really puts to use everything the film industry has to offer in one movie. Not only does it encompass a vast array of techniques, it does so very well. For this reason, it undoubtedly is a work of art.
In almost every scene there is something that may be used to discuss cinematography because each scene plays with the audiences eye in a new way. The very first scene for instance, with Camille and Paul lying in bed, conveys more than one can even understand. The framing of this scene is magnificent as it only captures the room partially, leaving only the couple in bed in our viewing range. The closeness of the characters bodies, along with the camera lead us to believe that they posses a strong bond. The use of a middle focal length adds a more traditional perspective to the scene. I felt it made it seem very realistic, apposed to superficial or distorted. The deep focus provided the picture with lots of clarity as we could see definition even within the bed sheets. The camera focused on Camille’s body and the different parts individually as she questioned Paul if he loved each and every part of her. Having the couple in the frame, followed by certain assets of Camille, and finally returning to the couple together was attention-grabbing. I also found it interesting that the first color used was red because red occurs on several occasions throughout the entire film. Red has varied meanings because it can suggest anything from love to death. However when thinking about it like that, the color red could not suit the movie any better. Because Camille was facing Paul and not the camera we are unable to see her face, and because her shadow is covering Paul’s face we are not capable of fully seeing any of his expressions either. This really plays on the idea that their relationship is in a sort of blur and there is no real emotional connection to be had between the two.
I know that was a lot regarding one scene but truthfully it encompasses so much and everything is note worthy.