Week 6 Blog Assignment

Jean Luc Godard’s Contempt is while a very unique and fascinating film, I found it to be rather drawn out and relatively unexciting. In all honesty, I may have missed out on 10 minutes due to me literally falling asleep at one point.Those ten mintues were probably relatively unexciting and another reminder of how the relationship between Camille and Paul was oh so tragically, yet slowly… very slowly… crumbling at the seams. While I find the plot very bland and unattractive, the visuals really stood out to me. The cinematogrophy was just astounding and added a great depth and feeling to the scenes.

For instance, the scene where the couple is in their apartment and arguing. Here, Camille is seen in a black wig that almost makes her look completely different then initially. I believe that this change in appearance was a small representation in how their relationship was tearing at the seams, how Paul says it really doesn’t fit her. In fact, her new image really clashes with the first scene in the film where they were in bed and speaking of the things Paul likes of Camille.

But further in the apartment scene, Paul and Camille openly argue with one another, continuously moving between rooms and corridors to the point where a wall separates the two. Here, Camille is in a much more crisp and brighter room decorated with furniture whereas Paul is in a very plain, white, and dull hallway. This just perfectly represents the relationship between the two, that they have drifted so far apart that a wall has formed between their hearts. The contrast in each other accentuated that feel immensely, and overall it was a wonderful use of cinematogrophy.

I would also like to note the bright red color of the furniture that Camille’s room had. It is almost similar in color to the producer’s bright red car, ostentatios and showy just like its owner. From my years in literature and troupes in general, red has always been seen as a color close to death, thus the car crash involving the two could have been foreshadowed from almost the very beginning.

Whereas the movie was dull in my opinion, the visuals throughout the movie really stood out and made it for me.


5 thoughts on “Week 6 Blog Assignment

  1. To further elaborate on your reference to the use of the color red I also noticed in the scene where Camille and Paul are in their apartment, they trade off the use of a red sheet-like body covering. My best guess would be that the use of this sheet and the sharing of this sheet expresses their emotions at any given time in the scene. When one takes off the sheet it expresses their subtle loss of feeling and interest that develops over the two hour long emotional crash and burn. I also think that the use of Camille’s black wig expresses the death of her feelings. It would be safe to say that whatever hair color is showing is an expression of her feelings toward Paul as well as her overall feeling. In her black wig she is glum and disconnected and in her natural blonde state she is head over heels in love.

  2. I am not sure that I would go so far as to say the movie was completely dull, but I would have to agree that the movie was drawn out. With a plot like the one in this film, one can only do so much before it starts to get repetitive and lose the audiences attention. I felt that it was a little too predictable; similar to how you said one could have assumed that Camille and the producer were going to die in a car crash. The red color places strategically probably could have been found in every scene without fail. It’s a very prominent color that is used universally to represent multiple emotions, feelings, and or attitudes. Yes we associate it with dead, but it is commonly related to love as well. The apartment scene is worth noting because it was just constructed so perfectly. It is just amazing how in the apartment went from portraying an affectionate ambiance in the beginning bed scene to a tense environment in the latter part of the film.

  3. As I’m sure everyone has mentioned, the apartment does represent the distance and disconnected relationship that is occurring. The walls are always blocking the two from being together in the scene. I wanted to note that the lamp in their discussion also formed some sort of another wall between them so that when they talk they can’t really see into each other’s faces. The area of the house where Camille lived in was also very colorful with tons of furniture and very organized while Paul is left with the door that has no middle and a workroom that is completely broken down. This once again puts Camille in some sort of a higher position as she is the one clearly in the know of what is going on. On the other hand, Paul is clueless and in a disarray. The whole movie is lacking in plot but the filming is very interesting as to how everything seems to symbolize something else.

  4. I think it is an interesting concept that as you pointed out, this plot moves so, so slowly and yet it crams into 100 minutes the uncomfortable, terrible feelings that come with the end of a relationship that so often drags on for weeks or months in reality.

    Good observation on Paul’s comment to Camille that her wig doesn’t suit her; it does contrast markedly with the intro of Paul adoring every inch of her. On another note, that scene provides interesting insight into Camille’s mind. She never really tells Paul that she loves him as intensely as he loves her; when he tells her that he loves her “totally, tenderly, tragically,” she simply replies, “Me too.” As we know, there’s a difference between saying “I love you, too” and “Me too” when someone says “I love you” to us. In this case, it foreshadows/implies that Camille is, even at this early point in the film, no longer invested in her relationship to Paul.

  5. I too agree with your opinion that the movie dragged on at times. In terms of cinematography, I feel that a lot of Godard’s shots give off this prolonged effect as the film has very little to no fast cuts. Instead, Godard uses prolonged shots to emphasize the distance between characters, specifically Paul and Camille. This can be seen perfectly the whole time that the couple is at their apartment.

    As I mentioned in class today, I also feel that Paul’s hat gives off the same effect that Camille’s wig does as well. Essentially, both props help to further alienate the couple from each other. The same can also be said about their wardrobe. Camille tends to wear colorful clothes where as Paul wears greyish and bland suits, a noticeable difference from his wife’s wardrobe.

    Finally, I also agree with remarks on the recurring color red throughout the movie. Looking back at the film, the color red truly connects each event that ultimately leads to death in the climax. Although it was boring at times, we truly have to admire Contempt for Godard’s artistic cinematic ingenuity.

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