As we all must know by now, Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt is a movie not really based totally on a plot or a narrative through line, but it is based on an idea and relies on mise en scene to propose that idea. First of all, the films title is Contempt, which means hatred or disgust towards something, or believing one is superior than something else. Perhaps, Godard uses this as a title to show the contempt Camille feels for Paul and the estrangement of their relationship, or maybe Godard is showing the contempt of American producers and the clash between commercialism and art. There are so many elements of this film that can be deeply analyzed including the cinematography, and the mise en scene, that really show how this movie is all about contempt and not necessarily about a strong plot.
The first scene in the movie shows Paul and Camille in bed together and one continuous shot shows them in conversation. Godard intentionally messes with the tonality of this scene by changing the tint from dark yellow to bright back to dark blue. Instantly, after one scene, we see that this film will use cinematography and mise en scene to lead the movie rather than a plot.
Later in the film, when Paul and Camille are fighting and arguing in their apartment, we can really see how tumultuous their relationship has become through the cinematography. The shot design places each character on an opposite side of the room separated by a wall, or something else. This shows the strain in their relationship; they are no longer together, they are separate. The same goal is achieved in this scene, when Godard creates a deep contrast between the foreground and the background, also creating a ton of space between the characters, showing how apart they have grown.