Jean-Luc Godard, who cast a modernist shadow so long that many forward-thinking directors still haven’t entirely stepped out of it today, had his biggest commercial success with 1963’s “Le Mépris” (“Contempt“), starring Brigitte Bardot and Fritz Lang as a starlet and a director filming a lofty adaptation of “Ulysses.” The film’s playful yet indelible feel is captured in this 10-minute, vintage making-of documentary now available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube, and it has some interesting tidbits to share about Godard’s spontaneous process.
The doc, which is narrated in French and features voyeuristic shots that observe the cast and crew from an outside perspective, will not amuse with evidence of big personalities and camaraderie on set. What it offers, rather than talking heads and clumsy handheld footage, are the thoughtful ruminations of its director on Godard’s progressive female characters, the way that Bardot’s celebrity engulfs her character Camille and the role that cinema itself plays as a theme in the story.
Fans will enjoy its relaxed rhythm and obvious reverence for Godard’s work, while others can simply bask in the visuals of Capri in the ’60s and Bardot at the height of her allure. [Eyes On Cinema]