Issuu on Google+

Le MĂŠpris complete screenplay with commentary


Le MĂŠpris complete screenplay with commentary


contents 04 Introduction Screenplay 05 RED:Scenes 1—8 Scene 1 Scene 2 Scene 3 Scene 4 Scene 5 Scene 6 Scene 7 Scene 8 Figures 18 YELLOW:Scenes 9—14 Scene 9 Scene 10 Scene 11 Scene 12 Scene 13 Scene 14 Figures

32 BLUE:Scenes 15—25 Scene 15 Scene 16 Scene 17 Scene 18 Scene 19 Scene 20 Scene 21 Scene 22 Scene 23 Scene 24 Scene 25 Figures 46 Infographics 47 Bibliography 48 Colophon


INTRODUCTION

4

Le MĂŠpris screenplay by

jean-luc godar d Origin: France // Released: 1963 // Released in U.S.: 1964 // Production: Georges de Beauregard, Carlo Ponnti, and Joseph E. Levine for RomeParis Films/ Films Concordia/ Compagnia Cinematografica Champion // Direction: Jean-Luc Godard // Assistant Direction: Charles Bitsch // Screenplay: Jean-Luc Godard; based on the novel Il disprezzo, by Alberto Moravia // Cinematography: Raoul Coutard // Editing: Agnès Guillemot and Lila Lakshmanan // Costume design: Janine Autre // Sound: William Sivel // Music: Georges Delerue // Running time: 100 minutes // Running time in U.S.: 103 minutes // Also know as: Contempt Principal characters Camille Javal......... Paul Javal............ Jeremy Prokosch....... Fritz Lang............ Francesca Vanini...... Assistant director.... Siren.................

Brigitte Bardot Michel Piccoli Jack Palance Himself Giorgia Moll Jean-Luc Godard Linda Veras


the red scene 1 – scene 8


4


THE RED

Scene 1 — 2

7

Scene 1: Film set of Cinecittà Francesca is walking through the street of Cinecittà, a movie set of The Odyssey, as the film crew films her steps. The narrator reads the credits of Le Mépris and when he’s done, the cameraman turns his camera-focus directly to the viewer. Narrator: It’s based on the novel by Alberto Moravia. It features Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli. Jack Palance and Giorgia Moll, too. And Fritz Lang. Raoul Coutard did the photography. Georges Delerue wrote the score. The sound was recorded by William Sivel. Agnès Guillemot did the editing. Philippe Dussart and Carlo Lastricati were unit managers. It’s a film by Jean-Luc Godard. It was shot in CinemaScope and printed in color by GTC Labs. Georges De Beauregard and Carlo Ponti produced it for Rome-Paris Films, Films Concordia and Compagnia Cinematografia Champion. “The cinema,” said André Bazin, “substitutes for our gaze a world more in harmony with our desires.” Contempt is a story of that world. Scene 2: Paul and Camille’s apartment room The room is saturated in the color red. Camille, fully nude, lay on the bed while Paul gently strokes through her hair as they talk. Camille: I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go to Mom’s. I don’t know what I’ll do later. Paul: Come pick me up if you want. Around 4 o’clock. At Cinecittà. I have to see that American. Camille: Maybe I will. See my feet in the mirror? Paul: Oui. Camille: Think they’re pretty? Paul: Oui, very. Camille: You like my ankles? Paul: Oui. Camille: And my knees, too? Paul: Oui, I really like your knees. Camille: And my thighs? Paul: Your thighs, too. Camille: See my behind in the mirror? Paul: Oui. Camille: Do you think I have a cute ass? Paul: Oui, trés. Camille: Shall I get on my knees? Paul: No need to. Camille: And my breasts. You like them? Paul: Oui, tremendously.(reaching out) Camille: Gently, Paul. Not so hard. Paul: Sorry. Camille: Which do you like better, my breasts, or my nipples? Paul: I don’t know. I like them the same.

// scene 2: figure 1

Instantly the saturated color red changes to a yellow tone. The camera follows Camille’s body, from her hips all the way down to her toes, and focuses back on the conversation between Camille and Paul. Camille: You like my shoulders? Paul: Oui. Camille: I don’t think they’re round enough. And my arms? Paul: Oui.

// scene 2: figure 2


THE RED

Scene 3

8

Once again, the yellow tone changes drastically to a blue-saturation. The contrast between light and dark is very emphasized; Paul’s face is hardly visible. scene 2: figure 3 //

Camille: And my face? Paul: Your face, too. Camille: All of it? My mouth, my eyes, my nose, my ears? Paul: Oui, everything. Camille: Then you love me totally. Paul: Oui, I love you totally, tenderly, tragically. Camille: Me too, Paul. Scene 3: Film set of Cinecittà Paul walks through the street set of Cinecittà and meets up with Francesca. The two walk through the deserted set to find Jerry. Paul: Hello. How are you? Francesca: Fine, thanks. Paul: Say, what’s going on here? The place is empty! Francesca: Jerry fired nearly everybody. Italian cinema is in trouble. Paul: Where is he? Francesca: Over there. Paul: Where? Francesca: Jerry! (walking) Jerry! (walking more) Jerry! Jerry: (comes out the door looks up at the sky) Only yesterday there were kings here. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: Kings and queens, warriors and lovers. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: All kinds of real human beings, living all the real human emotions. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: Yesterday I sold this land. Now they’re gonna build a five or ten stories of Prisunic. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: This is my last kingdom! Francesca: It’s the end of cinema. Paul: I don’t think cinema will ever die. Jerry: They tell me that you (pointing at Paul), wrote that wonderful and successful motion picture film about Hercules. Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: Oui. Francesca: It’s doing good business in N.Y. Paul: Fair to middling. Jerry: Aw, you don’t have to be modest with me. I don’t believe modesty. I believe in pride. I believe in the pride of making good films. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: Do you know the Odyssey? Paul: Your film with Fritz Lang? Jerry: NO! I’ve already lost a studio and now I’m gonna lose my shirt because of him. Francesca: He’s not working out. Paul: (in french) Francesca: (translating) Why did you take Lang, Jerry? Jerry: Because the Odyssey needs a German director, everybody knows that a German Schliemann discovered Troy. Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: (in french) Francesca: (translating in English) What should he do Jerry? Jerry: I want you to write some new scenes for the Odyssey. Not just sex but more. More. Francesca: (translating in french)


THE RED

Scene 3 — 4

Paul: Producers never know what they want. Francesca: (translating in English) In fact, you don’t know. Jerry: (takes out a red book from his pocket) To know, that one does not know, is the gift of the superior spirit. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: Not to know and to think that one does know, is a mistake. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: To know that this is a mistake, keeps one from making it. I have the knowledge here. Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: (in french) Francesca: (translating in English) He doesn’t think that Lang would acceptJerry: This is my money. Paul: In ‘33, Goebbels asked Lang to head the German film industry. That very night, Lang left Germany. Francesca: In 1993, Goebbels um... offeredJerry: This is not ‘33. This ‘63. And he will direct whatever was written. Just as I know you are going to write it. Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: Pourquoi? Jerry: (getting in his red convertible) I will tell you in the projection room. Francesca: (translating in french) (showing a path) This way. Paul: Pourquoi? Francesca: He would like to know why? Jerry: Cus you need the money. Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: (in french) Francesca: How do you know Jerry? Jerry: Someone told me that you have a very beautiful wife. Francesca: (translating in french)

9

// scene 3: figure 1

Scene 4: Interior of the projection room Fritz Lang is sitting in the projection room with a typist in the fat corner. Francesca, Jerry, and Paul find their seats and join in the screening of the latest rushes from Fritz Lang’s The Odyssey. Jerry: What great stuff will we be seeing today, Fritz? Fritz: These pictures will have a definite point of view, Jerry. Francesca: (translating in french) Fritz: Here, (pointing at the screen), it’s the fate of the individuals under the circumstances. The eternal problem of the old Greeks. Jerry: Oh, please Francesca: (translating in french) Fritz: I don’t know if you’re ever trying to understand it, Jerry. I certainly hope you can. It’s a fate against the gods. It’s a fate of Polyphemus and Ulysses. Francesca: (translating in french) <Fritz Lang’s The Odyssey> Colored sculptures of Greek Gods– Penelope, Minerva, and Neptune, are shot at from a low-angle close-up. Paul: That’s Minerva, isn’t it? Fritz: Yeah, She’s Ulysses’ protector. And that’s Neptune, his mortal enemy. Jerry: Oh, gods...... I like gods. I like them very much. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: I know exactly how they feel. Exactly. Francesca: (translating in french)

// scene 4: figure 1 — 2


THE RED

Scene 4

10

Fritz: Jerry, don’t forget. The gods have not created men, men has created gods. Paul: Say, that’s Homer. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: (lighting up when the scene of nude women) Francesca, what is that? Francesca: Mermaids, Jerry. Jerry: (chuckling) Fritz, that’s wonderful for you and me but do you think the.. Public’s gonna understand that? Francesca: (translating in french) That’s art, but will the public understand? Jerry: (constantly chuckling turning to laughing) Paul: Who’s that? Francesca: Penelope. Jerry: I have a theory about the Odyssey. I think Penelope has been unfaithful. Francesca: (translating in french) Fritz: “O my brothers, who braved 100,000 perils to reach the west, choose not to deny experience of the unpeopled world. Think of the seed of your creation. You were not born to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.” Francesca: (translating in french) Fritz: Know it? Paul: Sure, it’s very famous. Dante. Fritz: Oui. Paul: “Night then saw all the stars. We were filled with gladness, which soon turned to tears until the sea closed in upon us.” <More of Fritz Lang’s The Odyssey> Film rush of Fritz’s The Odyssey ends. Lights turn up inside the screening room. scene 4: figure 3 //

Paul: I’m Paul Javal. Mr. Prokosch told you... Fritz: I’m perfectly aware. Paul: It looks swell. I really like CinemaScope. Fritz: It’s not made for people. It’s only good for snakes and funerals. An assistant enters with racks of film. Jerry: (smashing the piles to the ground) That’s what I think of that stuff up there, Fritz. Fritz: (holding up his pen towards Jerry) Would you like to rewrite it Jerry? Assistant squats down to pick the scattered film reel. Jerry: You cheated me Fritz. That’s not what is in that script. (pointing to Fritz’s script) Fritz: It is!! Jerry: (trying to grab the script) Fritz: (pulls it back) Oh no!! Jerry: (points to the back) Get the script, Francesca. Paul: What’s the matter, Miss Vanini? Is it about the script? Francesca runs to the back and brings Jerry his copy. Jerry: (flicking through the book, then slams it down) Yes, it’s in the script but that’s not what you have on that screen. (walking towards the pile) Fritz: Actually, because it’s a script, it is written and on the screen is pictures. Jerry: (kicking the pile of film reels) Fritz: It’s motion pictures it’s called. Paul: Oh, he’s saying it’s not the same on screen as on paper. Jerry: (picking up one film reel and throwing it like discus) Francesca: (screaming and holding Jerry down) Ah, Jerry! Fritz: Finally you get the feel of Greek culture.


THE RED

Scene 4 — 5

11

Paul: My wife’s meeting me here. I’ll go see. Jerry: Stay right there. When I hear the word ‘culture’, I bring out my checkbook. (summoning Francesca) Come here. (Using Francesca’s back to write the check) Fritz: Some years ago, the Italians used to say “revolver” instead of “checkbook.” Jerry hands his check to Francesca, to give to Paul. Jerry: I wanna know yes or no, if you’re going to rewrite that stuff. Francesca: (translating in french) Paul glances at Fritz, Fritz shrugs. Paul folds the check and tucks it in his pockets. Jerry walks out with Francesca, but Francesca shortly returns to talk with Fritz. Fritz: (speaking in German) “But Man, when he must, can stand fearless and alone before God. His candor is his shield. He needs neither arms nor wile. Until such time as God’s absence helps him.” Francesca: (translating in french) Fritz: Very good. Francesca: That’s Hölderlin, isn’t it Mr. Lang? Fritz: Oui, “The Poet’s Vocation.” The final line is obscure. Hölderlin originally wrote... “So long as God is not absent.” Francesca: (translating in french) Fritz: And then.. “So long as God is close to us.” Francesca: (translating in french) Fritz: Yes. The way the last lines were written, when you’ve read the other two, is no longer about God’s presence. It’s God’s absence that reassures Man. Strange, but true. (closing his book) How do you say “strange” in Italian? Francesca: strano. Fritz follows Francesca and typist out the projection room. Scene 5: Outside the projection room Fritz takes out a cigarette and lights it, walks towards Paul while slowly inhaling it. Paul is leaning by a wall, while Camille is running down the stairway. Camille: (running) Paul! Jerry in his red car drives through Paul and Camille while they are running towards each other and embraces one another. Paul: (towards Jerry) Meet Mr.Prokosch. Camille, my wife. Camille reaches her hand out, and Jerry takes it but looks not at her, but at the sky. Fritz walks over with his cigarette. Paul: I’d like you to meet my wife, Camille. Fritz: Enchanté madame, Fritz Lang. Camille: Bonjour Monsieur. Paul: He’s the one who did that western with Dietrich. Camille: It was terrific! Fritz: I prefer M. Camille: Your M? Fritz: Oui Camille: We just saw it on TV. I really liked it. Fritz: Thank you. That’s kind of you. Paul: I love the scene when Ferrer leans on the scale. Jerry: Francesca! Fritz: Thank you. When I finish The Odyssey... Jerry: (touching Camille’s shoulders) Let’s have a drink at my home. Yes or No? Francesca: (translating in french) Camille: Je ne sais pas. Francesca: She doesn’t know. Jerry: It’ll be help her if she will.


THE RED

scene 5: figure 1 — 2 //

Scene 5 — 6

12

Francesca: (translating in french) Camille: Me? Paul! Francesca: Paul, would you like to have a drink? Fritz: Include me out, as a real producer once said. (turning to Paul) I’ll phone you. (turning to Camille) Madame. Paul: Au revoir. Camille: We’ll go if you want. Jerry: (opening his passenger door) Get in. s’il vous plaît. Francesca: Sit down, ma’am. Jerry: Paul, you won’t be comfortable back here so why don’t you take a taxi? Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: I’ll meet you there. I’ll grab a taxi. Camille: Let him go on ahead. We can both take a cab. Jerry: Come on let’s go. Francesca: Make up your mind. Paul: (beckoning Camille inside the car) Camille looks at Paul uncertainly, while Paul leaves and Jerry starts the engine. Jerry’s car speeds up and Camille turns back and shouts for Paul. Paul is running through the broken sets of Cinnecità, calling Camille’s name. Francesca: (passing by Paul, on her bike) Bye, Paul! Paul: What’s the address? Short scene of Fritz’s The Odyssey plays. Scene 6: the garden of Jerry’s mansion Paul gets out of the taxi and runs towards the garden of Jerry’s mansion, where Camille is strolling with Jerry. Jerry: (seeing Paul) Hello, Paul. I’ll fix you a drink, Paul. (walking towards the table)We were waiting for you. We thought you would never get here. What happened to you, Paul? Paul: (to Camille) What did he say? Camille: I know as much English as you do. We’ve been waiting a half hour. What kept you? Paul: Nothing. I had an accident... I was in the cab, and just at the corner...the “corner” of the street... BANG! Two cars, you know... The entire fender was torn off. The two drivers started trading insults... So I found another cab. That’s why... Camille walks over to the table and picks up a book. Camille: (staring at Paul) That’s why, what? Paul: What? Why I got here late. I had to walk God knows how long... From S. Angelo to Piazza Venezia to find a cab. (to Jerry) Long, walk a long, long, long, long, long. Jerry: (drinking) Yeah. Camille: (holding on tightly to the book) Anyway, I don’t give a damn. I’m not interested in your story. Paul: Still, it took me twenty minutes. You don’t believe me. Jerry gives Camille a look-over behind his sunglasses. Camille: We’ll discuss it later. I’m going for a walk. Francesca enters the garden on her bike and drives past her. <Camille’s flashbacks of Paul beckoning her inside Jerry’s car> Francesca gives Jerry his mail. Jerry: Francesca, tell Paul I want him to come to my office tomorrow to sign his contract. Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: D’accord. (turning towards Camille) Why don’t you say something? Camille ignores Paul, turning the chair in opposite direction of him and opens the book.


THE RED

Scene 6 — 7

13

Francesca: Jerry! A call from London. Jerry passing by Camille, stops and stares for a few seconds. Francesca: Jerry! London! Francesca: (translating in french) Friday we shoot in Capri. Come with us. Paul: Answer her. Why don’t you speak up? (sitting down in eye-level with Camille) What were you doing before I arrived? Camille: Nothing special. Paul: Why? Did he come on to you? Camille: (turns her face away) Why ask me that? Paul: Just because. (softly brushing Camille’s legs with his finger, then looks at his hands) I’ll go wash my hands. (walking in to Jerry’s mansion) <2nd flashbacks in Paul’s point-of-view> Scene 7: Inside Jerry’s mansion Paul: Where can I wash? Francesca: (wiping tears off her face)Upstairs, right. Paul: (walks a few steps up and seeing Francesca, comes back down) What’s the matter? You look down. Francesca: Nothing. Paul: (touching her hair) Have you been crying? Your boss is tough. Francesca: (changing her shirt) Oui. Paul: (sitting down on the couch, taking out his cigarettes) Known him long? What did he do before movies? Francesca: I don’t want to talk about it. Paul: I was just asking. It’s a drag to be so cute and so sad. (lighting up his cigarette) Francesca: Haven’t you anything more amusing to say? Paul: More amusing... A joke. (passing by Francesca, touching her hair) Which one? Sure, the one about Râma Krishna and his disciple. (flicks at the untuned harp) Râma Krishna is a Hindu sage. He has this disciple who doesn’t believe in his master’s teachings. He decides to study on his own. So he goes away. After 15 years, he comes back and says: “I’ve found it!” Francesca: Found what? Paul: He tells the sage: “I’ll show you.” He takes him to the riverbank. The disciple walks back and forth across the water. And he says: “You see? I can cross without getting wet. Now I know!” So Râma Krishna replies: “You fool! I did that 10 years ago with a rupee and a rowboat!” Jerry: Francesca! Francesca startled, runs for the door. Paul catches up with her and strokes her head, then her hips and bottom. Paul: Feel better now? Francesca: (nodding) Paul: (taping Camille on the buttocks twice) That’s good. (walking towards the bathroom) Camille: (entering as Francesca leaves) Paul. Paul: What? Camille: Call that washing your hands? Paul: As you can see. (walking down) I was just telling her the joke... Camille: I believe you already. Paul: You’re being an idiot. Camille: Where can I pee? Paul: (pointing upstairs) There!


THE RED

Scene 8

14

Scene 8: the doorway of Jerry’s mansion and the garden As Paul is exiting, Jerry comes in through the door, with a book in hand. Francesca follows in soon after. Jerry: (chuckling) Paul. I found the book of Roman paintings I’d thought would help with The Odyssey. Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: Isn’t Odysseus, Greek? Francesca: Jerry, Odysseus is Greek. Jerry: Yes, I know. (handing Paul the book) Jerry: (coming down the stairs to the garden) So, I was right, huh? Paul: About what? Jerry: About the money and his wife. Francesca: (translating in french) Au sujet de l’argent et de ses femmes. Jerry: Why don’t you stay for dinner? Yes or no. Francesca: (translating in french) Ma’am Prokoush, Pourquoi ne faites pas vous séjour pour le dîner. Oui or Non. Camille: (speaking in french) Francesca: She’s tired. Camille: Tell them we’re leaving. Paul. Paul: (speaking in french) Francesca: They might go, Jerry. Jerry: If they decide about Capri, call me this evening. I must get the villa ready. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: (pointing at Camille) What about you? Francesca: (translating in french) Camille: (turning towards Paul) It’s my husband who decides. Jerry: What is it that interests you about the Odyssey? Francesca: (translating in french) Paul: (speaking french) Francesca: (translating in english) He doesn’t know yet. Paul: (speaking french) Francesca: (translating in english) He wants to make a different picture. Paul: (speaking french) Francesca: (translating in english) Like Chaplin. Paul: Like in the United Artists days. Jerry: (holding his red book) The wise man does not oppress others with his superiority. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry: He does not try to humiliate them for their impotence. Francesca: (translating in french) Jerry and Francesca walks the two couple out the garden door and closes it behind them. Jerry pinches Francesca on the elbow and wraps his arms around her shoulders. Paul tries to do so with Camille but she pulls away from him and glances into the garden. Camille: (looking through the garden door) He’s crazy! See that? He kicked her! (walking towards the streets) Paul: (running to catch up with Camille) You change your mind fast. Monday you thought he was terrific. Camille: Now I think he’s a jerk. I have a right to change my mind. Paul: (stopping and looking at Camille) What happened in the past hour? Camille: Rien. If you’re happy, so am I. Paul reaches out and holds Camille’s hands. He spots a taxi, tugs Camille and runs to catch the taxi. <Scenes from Fritz’s The Odyssey>


THE RED

figures

15

SCENE 2: FIGURE 1 — 3 The scenes, which consists of a single shot, performs as an interesting inversion of a traditional form of praise: the blazon. The blazon has been used by poets for centuries to describe the beautieus of the human body. Conventionally, it proceeds through a male anatomization of a woman’s charms. Here, however, the woman performs the anatomization herself, and orchestrates the praise. Camille anatomizes her body not in order to divide it into a collection of part objects, but rather to establish that it is adored in every detail— as Paul says, “totally, tenderly, tragically.” Through her self-blazon, Camille dreams of an Edenic plenitude: of a love adequate to the desire for love, and a language capable of expressing it. SCENE 2, FIGURE 1

SCENE 2, FIGURE 3

SCENE 2, FIGURE 2

SCENE 3: FIGURE 1 Jerry’s red book is reminiscent of “Quotations from Chairman Mao” better known in the West as “The Little Red Book”, Jerry is seen quoting from this book various times throughout the film often in a boasting manner. Similarly so, Paul and Fritz quote from various resources such as Dante, Hölderlin, and Bertolt Brecht. This is the strict difference between Hollywood and the films of La Nouvelle Vague, the French New Wave.

SCENE 3, FIGURE 1


THE RED

figures

16

SCENE 4, FIGURE 1

SCENE 4: FIGURE 1 — 2 The shots of the Greek statues could also be read not as a literal quotation of the images of Land’s film, but as Godard’s dramatization of the process of making a film from material found in a book or a museum. It is as if Jerry had told Lang, “Make the images in a museum move, give them flesh and blood,” and what we are shown is the beginning of that process. In the first image of the rushes, the statue of Penelope is animated through a zoom. In the second, the bust of

Minerva is shown turning first to the left, and then back again, as if coming to life. In the third shot of the rushes, the camera zooms into a low-angle close-up of Neptune, again suggestive of motion. The statues are also partially painted, indicating that the marble is beginning to yield to flesh. Eventually the statues are replaced by human figures, as if the transition to life has been successfully effected.

SCENE 4, FIGURE 2

SCENE 4: FIGURE 3 In the Cinecittà scenes, Paul speaks French, Jerry English, and Lang often German. Francesca converts this babble into sense by translating what each man says to the other. But communication often seems based upon misunderstanding, because Francesca’s translations can deviate dramatically from the actual dialogue. “Yesterday I sold this land,” says Jerry, and Francesca translates: “Hier, il a vendu tout” (“Yesterday, he sold every thing”). Jerry says, This is my last kingdom!,” and Francesca translates: “C’est la fin du cinéma” (“It’s the end of cinema”). At one point, the translation even anticipates—and perhaps inspires—the original, indicating that the relationship between the two can be reciprocally determining.

SCENE 4, FIGURE 3


THE RED

figures

17

SCENE 5: FIGURE 1 — 2 The car scene appears four times throughout the film. First is in Scene 5, where it is shown in chronological order, and repeated in flashbacks. The first time around, Godard films it so casually that it is hard to decipher the significance of the moment, which will be a starting point for the rest of the

film. When Jerry invites Camille and Paul to his house for a drink, he claims that there is only room for Camille and proposes Paul to take a taxi. Camille registers discomfort withthis arrangement, but Paul insists that she go with Jerry. As the red Alfa races out of the frame, Camille cries “Paul,”

and he—with equal but uncomprehending anguish— responds: “Camille.” A shot of Poseidon follows, reiterating the fateful moment of when a malign destiny seizes control of Paul and Camille’s lives. The two flashbacks sequences suggest that the new difficulties between Paul and

Camille are compounded by their radically different ways of understanding the events of the last hour. The first flashbacks in the point of view of Camille, refers to the car scene two times, as if to suggest that Camille already imputes heavy significance to it. Camille thinks that Paul has used her

as a sexual lure to consolidate his business relationship with Jerry. However, in Paul’s flashbacks, the image of Camille entering the car appears only once, and seems of no greater importance than the rest of the memories, which are all from events of the same day.

SCENE 5, FIGURE 1

SCENE 5, FIGURE 2


the yellow scene 9 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; scene 14


THE yellow

Scene 9 — 10

21

Scene 9: Walk towards the apartment Camille is holding to the Greek book Jerry lent Paul, and Paul is looking at a newspaper. They are near the entrance of their apartment and are walking towards their home. Paul: Rio Bravo is playing in town. So is Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life. Camille: I’m not interested. Paul: I wrote it. Camille: I know. Paul: (folding the newspaper) I phoned your mom’s at lunchtime. There was no answer. Camille: We ate here. I didn’t feel like going out. Paul swings back his jacket and tucks the folded newspaper in his armpits. Camille glazes over at their apartment with her hands over her eyes and Paul puts his arms around her. Camille: I prefer it here. It’s better than a hotel. <Scenes of the apartment> Paul: See? I was right. Camille: What are they paying for the script? Paul: $10,000. Six million lire. We can finish paying off the flat. Isn’t that great? Camille: Yes, it’s great. Scene 10: Inside the apartment Paul opens the door, Camille follows in. The apartment is undergoing renovation. Camille: (standing through a doorway) When will you call your friend about the curtains? I’ve about had it. (walking towards the kitchen) Paul: Once he’s back from Spain. (hanging his jacket on the rack) Roberto said he’d be back Friday. Camille: (opening a bottle of soda from the refrigerator) Red velvet. It’s that or nothing. Paul: D’accord. (loosening his tie) Set the table while I take a bath? (opens the door leading to his workspace) Camille: I wanted to take a bath, too. Paul: You go first. I can do some work. (closes the door) Camille: No, I’ll go later, while it’s cooking. Paul: (walking past the same door, but this time through the empty place where there should have been a window) Is there any faggiolini left? Camille: Don’t like it? That’s tough. Paul: I can set the table. Camille: I was just doing it. Camille wipes her hands, looks around, picks up the book of Roman paintings, and walks towards the living room glimpsing through it. Paul is sitting on the couch, while taking his shoes off, reading a script. Camille stands across him, throws the books down on the coffee table. Paul glances up, but soon returns to his readings. Camille: (walking towards the bathroom) I bought something today. You’ll tell me what you think. Paul: (following Camille as unbuttoning trousers) What thing? Camille is behind the door of their bedroom and quickly fixes a black bob-cut wig onto her head. Paul: What thing? Camille: (hiding behind the door) Don’t look yet. Paul: (throwing his trousers) You want to go to Capri?


THE yellow

scene 10: figure 1 //

scene 10: figure 2 //

Scene 10

22

Camille closes the door behind him and rummages through her luggage for her green dress. Paul: Camille! Camille: What? Paul: You want us to go to Capri? Camille: (throws aside the green dress) I won’t say no, but I won’t say yes either. Paul: It would be a vacation. Camille: (taking out the pins holding her wig) Besides, he didn’t invite me. Paul: (turns the water in the shower) What? He invited you. Camille: Not me. (slightly adjusting her wig) Where’d we put the mirror? Camille finds the mirror on the hallway floor and kneels down to it to see her reflection. Paul: Not at all. We were both invited. Camille: (walking to the bathroom) Look. Look. (kneeling right next to Paul) Doesn’t it suit me? Paul: (taking a quick glance) No, I prefer you as a blonde. Camille: And I prefer you without a hat and cigar. (stands up and walks to the bathroom mirror) Paul: It’s just to look like Dean Martin in Some Came Running. Camille: Ooh-la-la. (coming through her wig) What a laugh! Paul: What is? Camille: You may want to look like Dean Martin, but it’s more like Martin’s Ass. Paul: Who’s that? Camille: Never read the adventures of Martin’s Ass? (walking out the bathroom) Paul: No. Camille: One day he goes to Baghdad to buy a flying carpet. He finds this really pretty one, so he sits on it, but it doesn’t fly. The merchant says: “Not surprising.” (walking towards the dining table and turning back) Are you listening? Paul: (yelling) Oui! Camille: “Not Surprising. If you want it to fly, you mustn’t think of an ass.” So Martin says: “Okay, I won’t think of an ass.” But automatically he thinks of one, so the carpet doesn’t fly. Paul: What’s that got to do with me? Camille: (smiling) Exactly what I was saying. Paul: (enters the living room smoking his cigar with a big white towel wrapped around his body) Well, I don’t get it. Camille: That’s enough. Are you finished? Paul: No need to change the water. I didn’t use soap. Paul watches Camille as she is fixing the plates on the dinner table. Paul: You’ve been acting weird today. What’s wrong. Camille: Nothing at all. (glancing at Paul and walking away) I knew you’d say that. Paul: (following Camille) There is something. Is it that girl? Camille: (shaking her head)It’s nothing, I tell you. I simply said you were an ass. Paul, with a grim look on his face, faces a bronze statue of a women, and knocks hard on both of her breasts and on her lower stomach. Paul: (murmuring) Not the same sound all over. (putting his cigar on the table) Why don’t you want us to go to Capri? Camille: (entering with a big red towel over her body) Because you’re an ass. Paul slaps her in the cheeks. Camille gasps and quickly turns face-forward towards a wall. Camille: (slowly turning her head) You frighten me, Paul. It’s not the first time.


THE yellow

Scene 10

23

Paul: (shouting) Why didn’t you answer instead of standing there? Why’d I marry a 28-year-old typist? Camille: It’s true...I’m sorry. (facing Paul) Paul: So am I. Camille slides her leg between Paul’s legs, and holds it up there for a second, then brings it back down. Camille: (sliding through Paul’s outreached hands and walks to the bathroom) Go to Capri if you want. I don’t feel like it. Besides, I don’t like that Jeremy Prokosch. I told you. Paul: (leaning on the door) Why? He do something to you? Camille: (sitting on the toilet, holding a cigarette in her mouth) Not a thing. (reaches out for the matches, lights her cigarette, and takes a few puffs) Paul: Why the thoughtful air? Camille: Maybe because I’m thinking of something. That surprise you? Paul: No. Why? Camille: An idea. Paul: Come with me. I don’t want to go alone. You’ve been acting funny since we met that guy. Camille: No, I’m not funny. I wonder why you say that. Paul: Just because. We were fine this morning. And now we’re fighting over nothing. What’s going on, sweetie? (petting Camille’s cheeks to her shoulders) Camille: (shrugging) I want to have fun. Nothing’s going on, Paul. I’m afraid I’ll get bored there. I’m not going. I’m not going. I’m not going. (passing through Paul) I’m not going. I’m not going. (repeating “I’m not going” constantly as she walks to the bedroom) Paul: (sitting on the bed, putting his socks on) Seen the house being built across the way? It’s a real horror. Camille: (brushing through her real blonde hair as she walks out the bedroom) Paul, if you love me, just be quiet. Paul: (standing towards the door) A husband has the right to know why his wife’s sulking. (Camille throws her red towel at him, and Paul catches it) I’m sure it’s that girl. Camille: Drop dead! Paul swing the red towel and throws it down on the floor. A telephone rings. Paul walks towards the telephone, sits on the bed to answer it. Paul: Allo? Bonjour Madame. No, Camille isn’t here. (glancing at the direction of Camille) Camille quietly walks towards the door and listens to Paul talking on the phone. Paul: I thought you’d lunched out and gone shopping. (Camille marches in the bedroom) Ah! She just walked in the door! (to Camille) Your mom. Camille takes the telephone, then sways her hand to throw Paul out of the room. Paul dawdles and Camille furiously sways her hand again and when Paul reaches the door she beckons him to close it shut. Paul closes the door but lingers behind it, trying to overhear the conversation. After a few seconds, he barges in and opens the door. Camille: (on the phone) I’ll call you tomorrow. (hangs up the phone and kicks Paul hard on the side) You’re out of your mind, old man! Why tell Mom I was out? Paul: I don’t know why. Camille: (glaring at him) I know why. To find out if we really went out to lunch and if I wasn’t lying earlier. Paul: (fidgeting with the zipper of his pants and sitting down on the bed) Yes, that’s it. Camille: Try that again and I’ll divorce you. (standing up and pulling on the blanket) Get up! Paul: What are you doing?


THE yellow

Scene 10

24

Camille: (dragging the blanket out to the living-room) I’m sleeping on the couch. Paul: When, tonight? Camille: Every night, starting tonight. Paul sighs and quickly runs out to the living-room. Camille: (fixing the blanket sees Paul coming in) Don’t be angry. I just can’t sleep with the window open. Paul: We’ll close the window. Camille: No, you always say you can’t breathe. No, we’ll sleep apart. Thousands of couples do it. They still get along fine. Paul: What did I do wrong? Tell me. (walking towards Camille) I’m sorry I said you were out. Is that it? Forgive me. (holding Camille’s elbows) Camille: (pushing him away) Let me by. Paul: (sighing) Is that why you’re in a bad mood? Camille: Yes, but I’m not anymore. (fixing the pillow and laying down on the couch) I’ll be just fine here. Paul: I really wonder what I did. (Sitting on the couch) Camille stretches her legs out onto Paul’s lap and Paul gently massages her ankles, knees, and thighs. Paul: You’re so mean all of a sudden! Camille: Me? I’m the same as always. You’re the one who’s changed. (turning over to her side) Ever since you’ve been with movie people. You used to write crime novels. We didn’t have much money, but everything was fine. Camille abruptly brings her legs down and Paul brings his hands together, sighing. Camille reaches out for Paul’s back-pockets. Camille: What’s this? Paul: Give me that. Camille: (reading the card) “Partito Comunista Italiano.” You never said you joined. Paul: That was two months ago in Paris. (grabbing Camille’s wrist) Give me that. Camille: (pulling her hand out from Paul) Let go! (rubbing her wrists) You’ll bruise me. Paul: Don’t talk to me like that! Camille: And don’t you either! (standing up and walking away) Paul: (frustrated) I’m working for you. This place is for you, not just for me! Camille: Please, Paul, I don’t want to argue. Paul: (putting the card back in his pocket reaches out to the table and picks up the borrowed book and flicks through it) I don’t want to go to Capri, either. Camille: Why not? Don’t be stupid. Go. Paul, come here. Paul: What? No, I’ve lost interest. Tell Prokosch when he calls. I won’t talk to him. <The book consists of ancient paintings, sculptures of provocative imagery all concerning poses of sexual intercourse>

scene 10: figure 3 //

Camille: Paul, come here. Why won’t you do the script now? Paul: (flipping through the pages) I’d have done it out of love for you. But you don’t love me anymore. Camille: That’s news! Paul: (reading a line in the book) “I hosted a skin contest among three beauties. They asked me to be the judge. They showed me their dazzling nudity. The first had a gently curving back with round dimples. The second parted her legs, her snow-white skin grew cherry-red, not crimson. The third was as still as a quiet sea. Her delicate skin rippled gently, shivering involuntarily.” We’ll just mortgage the flat when we run out of money. Camille: Something makes you think I’ve stopped loving you? Paul: Oui. Camille: What? What!


THE yellow

Scene 10 — 11

25

Paul: Everything. Camille: But what, for instance? Paul closes the book and puts it back on the table. He reaches for the blanket, slings it over his back, and carries it over to the bedroom. Paul: First, tell me if it’s true. Camille: No, you tell me first. Paul: What makes me think you’ve stopped loving me? (leaning on the bathroom door) The way you’ve begun to talk to me. You weren’t like that this morning. (sitting down on the edge of the tub) Or yesterday. It’s the way you look at me, too. Camille: (looking up from the book ‘Fritz Lang’, stares at Paul, then reads from the book) “The problem, in my opinion, is in our conception of the world. A positive view or a negative one. Greek tragedy was negative in that it made Man a victim of Fate as embodied by the Gods, who abandoned him to a hopeless destiny.” Paul: (reaching out for his tie and hanging it on his neck) Why’d you say it was the open window? There’s something else. Camille: I think so. (reading) “Man can rebel against things that are bad, false. We must rebel when we’re trapped by circumstances, conventions. But I don’t think murder is a solution. Crimes of passion serve no purpose. I love a woman, she cheats on me, I kill her. What’s left for me? I lost the one I love, since she’s dead. If I kill her lover, she hates me, and I still lose her. Killing is never a solution.” Paul: Look, Camille... (snatching the book out of her hands) Camille: I’m telling you, I give you my word, I can’t sleep with the window open. I need peace and quiet and darkness. (standing up and wrapping the towel around herself) I swear it’s true. (stepping out the tub) And you move around too much. You keep waking me. I want to sleep alone from now on. Paul: (buttoning his shirt) You don’t want to make love? Camille: (smiling) Listen to the jerk. Paul: (smiling) Is that a mocking smile or a tender smile? Camille: A tender smile. Paul: So, answer me! Camille: If it were true, I’d tell you. A woman can always find an excuse to not make love. But you’re really a jerk. Paul: Vulgar language doesn’t suit you. Camille: It doesn’t suit me? (smiling) Listen to this... (leaning against the bathroom wall) Asshole. Cunt. Shit. Christ Almighty. Craphole. Son of a bitch. Goddamn. (turning towards Paul) So, still think it doesn’t suit me? (walks out) Paul: Why don’t you want to make love anymore? Camille: (setting the soda bottle on the coffee table) All right. (lying on the couch and opening the towel to reveal her body) Let’s do it, but fast. Scene 11: flashbacks with Camille and Paul’s narrations <flashback: Camille, lying on a white carpet, totally nude with her face toward the floor> Paul: (narrating) I’d been thinking Camille could leave me. I thought of it as a possible disaster. Now the disaster had happened. Camille holds her face up from the white carpeted floor, and looks straight ahead towards the camera. Camille: (narrating) We used to live in a cloud of unawareness, in delicious complicity. Things happened with sudden, wild, enchanted recklessness. <flashback: Camille is running through a forest, near a lake>

// scene 11: figure 1 — 2


THE yellow

Scene 11 — 12

26

<flashback: Camille is sitting on the couch, with her black wig and a pink dress. Deep in thought, she touches her lips constantly> Camille: (narrating) I’d end up in Paul’s arms, hardly aware of what had happened. Paul: (narrating) This recklessness was now absent in Camille, and thus in me. <flashback: Camille, nude, lying sideways in a room inlaid with blue fur. She brings her calves up and down, playfully> Paul: (narrating) Could I now, prey to my excited senses, observe her coldly, as she could undoubtedly observe me? <flashback: Camille hang up on the phone with her mother, as Paul comes in through the bedroom door> Camille: (narrating) I deliberately made that remark with a secret feeling of revenge. Paul: (narrating) She seemed aware that a lie could settle things. For a while, at least. She was clearly tempted to lie. But on second thought, she decided not to. <flashback: Camille sipping on a cup of coffee, stirring her cup while sitting on the living room couch> Camille: (narrating) Paul hurt me so much. It was my turn now, by referring to what I’d seen, without really being specific. <flashback: Camille’s bare feet and butt on the red living room couch> Paul: (narrating) At heart, I was wrong. She wasn’t unfaithful, or she only seemed to be. The truth remained to be proven, despite appearances. <flashback: Camille and Paul on the rooftop of Jerry’s villa in Capri> <flashback: Paul introduces Camille and Jerry at Cinecittà> Camille: (narrating) I’ve noticed that the more we doubt, the more we cling to a false lucidity, in the hope of rationalizing what feelings have made murky. <flashback: Camille, nude, lying on a white carpet, face on the floor. Camille slowly lifts her head up to face straight ahead then back down on the floor> Paul: (narrating) I thought Camille could leave me. I thought of it as a possible disaster. Now the disaster had happened. Camille: (narrating) We used to live in a cloud of unawareness, in delicious complicity. Scene 12: the apartment, continuing scene 11 Paul: (throwing the towel over Camille) Don’t be like that. Camille: (sitting up, wrapping the towel completely around her body) Don’t be like what? Paul: You know very well. Camille: (picking up the bottle of coke and walking away) It’s your fault! Paul: You seem to be searching my expression to decide... the appropriate attitude to take with me. Waving his hand, Paul opens the door but steps through the empty glass-sill to his work space.


THE yellow

Scene 13 — 14

27

Scene 13: Paul’s work space Paul: (reading) “The private plane awaited in the blue sky. (sitting down in front of his typewriter) Rex remembered something about Paula... Her harmonious features... Her harmonious features, now indecisive, seemed contorted now. Rex knew this trait of hers, for it seemed that whenever Paula... Whenever Paula had to make a decision... (typing, pausing to think) that went against her nature...” Camille: (stepping through the door and putting her arms around Paul’s neck) What’s got into you, Paul? I love you exactly as before. Camille kisses Paul on the nose, rummages through his desk then wanders into the next room, as Paul continues to type. Camille: What would you do if I stopped loving you? Paul: I already told you. Camille: I forgot what you said. Paul: I wouldn’t do the script and we’d sell the flat. Camille: (walking past the ladder and cans of paint) But I love you. I find this all so idiotic. When Prokosch calls, tell him you’ll go to Capri. (sitting on the writing desk) Paul: (finishing his typing and looking up at Camille) What about you? Camille: I love you. Don’t make me repeat it. I want to keep the flat. If you don’t want to do the script, don’t do it. If you think I’ve stopped loving you, you’re wrong. (leaning over towards Paul) Kiss me. Telephone rings. Paul takes hold of Camille’s arms. as if to stop her. Camille stands up and walks to answer the phone. Paul continues to type on his typewriter. Scene 14: living room Camille sits on the corner of the bed, flipping through the borrowed book while talking on the phone to Jerry. Camille: We were just talking about you. About your movie. Oui. The Odyssey. About that guy who travels. In Capri can we go swimming? I don’t know. (Paul enters) Here’s Paul. I’ll put him on. Camille hands over the phone to Paul and walks out the room with the book. Paul, with the phone in hand, sits where Camille just sat. Paul: (sitting down) Hello, is it Prokosch? Oui. (looks to Camille’s direction) Camille walks through the living room to the dinner table and clears away the laid-out plates. Paul: We eating out? Camille: I don’t feel like going down for groceries. Camille puts the plates down without caution and with a loud clattering noise, all the dishes breaks. Leaping back, she bites her finger looking at the mess, but soon shakes it off and walks out the kitchen. Paul: Fine. We’re supposed to meet Prokosch and Lang at a movie theater. They want to see a singer in the stage show. We can eat after. Camille: It’ll be late if there’s a movie first. (stepping through the empty door) Paul: It might give me some ideas. Camille: (stepping back out through the door with the piece Paul was working on and a pair of shoes in her hands) Why not look for ideas in your head, instead of stealing them? (crumbles the paper and throws it) Paul: What’s got into you! (grabbing Camille by the arms and pulling her close) Camille.


THE yellow

scene 14: figure 1 — 2 //

Scene 14

28

Camille: (pushing him away) Let’s get going! Paul: I knew it. Camille: What? Paul: Since I said yes to Prokosch, so long tenderness! Camille: Right, no more caresses. What was the phone call about? Paul: (following Camille) Our going to Capri. Camille: What did you say? Paul: (leaning on the wall) That it was up to you. Camille: (grabbing Paul by the tie and pushing him back) Are you nuts? You know that it’s up to you, not me! Paul: Then come to Capri. Camille: Non. Paul: Is there something between you and Prokosch? Camille: (putting on her shoes) You’re pathetic. Paul: (holding Camille by the arms, sitting her down) I have to talk to you. Camille: What about the movies? Paul: Listen, I have to talk to you. (sitting down) Camille: (sitting down on the seat opposite of Paul) All right, I’m listening. Table light is blinking as Paul speaks word by word. Paul: (touching the light) I, have to, talk to, you. Earlier, before the phone rang, I said I didn’t want to take the job if I couldn’t be sure of your love. You said you loved me and that I should take it. Camille: Why? Paul: I’m sure you lied. (blinking the table light on and off) Why? I don’t know. Out of pity, self-interest... Camille: What self-interest? Paul: To hold on to this flat. Camille: How can you know what I think? In fact, I couldn’t care less. Sell the flat, see if I care. Paul: Earlier you said it was better than a hotel. Camille: Not at all. I said that to make you happy. Paul: That’s beside the point. (still blinking the table light, on and off) I want to know why you lied. Camille: Who said I lied? Stop it! Paul: You did. I can tell you’ve stopped loving me. Camille: What’s the use of knowing the truth? Paul: See? You admit I’m right. Camille: I don’t admit a thing. Leave me alone. It’s true. I don’t love you anymore. There’s nothing to explain. I don’t love you. Paul: Why? Yesterday you still loved me. Camille: Oui, very much. Now it’s over. Paul: There must be a reason. Camille: Oui, there must be. Paul: What is it? Camille: (shaking her head) I don’t know. All I know is, I don’t love you anymore. Paul: Since we were at Prokosch’s? When you saw me pat Francesca Vanini’s behind? Camille: (shaking her head) Let’s say it was that. Now it’s over. Let’s not talk about it. (standing up from the chair and looking out towards the window) Paul: Something happened today. It changed your mind about me, hence, your love for me. Camille: (turns around the face Paul) You’re crazy, but you’re smart. Paul: (walking towards Camille) Then it’s true. Camille: (walking past Paul and shrugging) I didn’t say that. I said you’re bright. Paul: (sighing) Was it something I said or did today that you took the wrong way? Camille: (putting her cardigan on) Maybe.


THE yellow

Scene 14

29

Paul: (rushing forward, grabbing onto Camille’s cardigan and forcing her to turn around) Don’t talk to me that way! I forbid you! Camille slaps Paul with her hands, slashes him with her cardigan and then walks straight towards the main door. Paul: Camille! (fixing his tie, and calling her much more gently) Camille. Camille: (walking down the steps) I despise you! That’s really what I feel for you. That’s why the love’s gone. (stopping to turn around and face Paul) I despise you. And you disgust me when you touch me. Paul changes into a new hat and reaches behind the bookshelf and pulls outs a revolver.


THE yellow

figures

30

SCENE 10: FIGURE 1 — 2 The quarrel scene is one of the longest scenes in the history of cinema. It takes up approximately one-third of Le Mépris, and it is shown in something like real time. Astonishingly, it nevertheless sustains our interest—not only because of the endless variations which it rings on a limited set of themes, but also because of its rhythmic modulations. What Paul says at any moment of the quarrel can tip the scale unpredictably in one direction or the other. Over the thirty minutes this scene lasts, Camille falls in and out of love again, and again, until suddenly the die is decisively cast against the of the relationship. Two shots are particularly significant in this respect. In the middle of telling the story about Martin and the flying carpet, Camille comes in her black wig to the door of the bathroom where Paul is taking a bath. She lifts her hands to her wig, and steps with her left foot forward. The camera films this shot from inside the bathroom. Le Mépris then cuts to a corridor shot of Camille,standing in the same position, and still lifting her hands to her artificial hair. She turns around and walks out the frame, and, with this movement, immediately quickens the pace of her story. The rhythm of the scene is thereby dramatically altered. We experience this moment as a breakage, but not as an ellipsis; the scene continues uninterruptedly, but there has been a dramatic change. This scene is more

SCENE 10, FIGURE 1

psychological than usual in Godard film, but nevertheless it remains true to one typical principle of Godardian composition: a refusal of conventional predication. Godard does not say: “Paul and Camille quarrel for half an hour over his failure to protect her against the sexual advances of a strange man, but neither of them ever articulates the main issue.” Instead, he says: “Man in hat. Man in towel. Blond woman. Woman in black wig. Sheets on couch. Sheets off couch. Dishes on table. Dishes off table. Love. Anger. Contempt. Tenderness.” SCENE 10, FIGURE 2

SCENE 10: FIGURE 3 The architecture of the apartment offers the couple a certain number of paths for going from one room to another and they proceed to exhaust these possibilities. The whole apartment provides the kind of documentary provocation. It figures as a nonunderstandable space, one whose topography cannot be cinematically mastered or even deciphered. The characters are always appearing in unexpected places, as if from a labyrinth.

SCENE 10, FIGURE 3


THE yellow

figures

31

SCENE 11: FIGURE 1 — 2 The fantasy sequence is a “loop” which begins and ends with an image of Camille lying naked on a beige rug. Every one of its other images also shows Camille, sometimes displayed naked on a rug, sometimes fully clothed and drinking a cup of tea, sometimes dressed in outdoor clothes and running through a landscape. These images indicate what Paul and Camille have in common, even as their commonality is lost: her body. The words spoken by Camille and Paul are subject to the same ‘loop’ structure as the images. Both at the beginning and the end, Paul says: “I thought Camille could leave me. I thought of it as a possible disaster. Now the disaster had happened.”

Camille then adds: “We used to live in a cloud of unawareness, in delicious complicity. Things happened with sudden, wild, enchanted recklessness. I’d end up in Paul’s arms, hardly aware of what had happened.” This exchange is based upon a passage from A Ghost at Noon. The fantasy sequence offers not an internal monologue, but a duet, which—similarly like a unicorn— is literally impossible but imaginarily necessary. This is especially remarkable in that this duet occurs at a moment of estrangement; it is togetherness in separation. The fantasy sequence also dramatizes Paul and Camille’s fall out of ostensible immediacy and into self-consciousness.

SCENE 11, FIGURE 1

SCENE 14: FIGURE 1 — 2 In this shot, Paul and Camille sit facing each other across a table with a lamp. The camera tracks with a mechanical precision from one to the other and back again, each time pausing when it reaches its destination. As it does so, Paul turns the lamp on and off. Although the camera sometimes reveals Paul or Camille while he or she is speaking, its movements are for the most part unmotivated by what transpires in

the conversation. Turning the table light on and off has something of the drama and significance of the game in which young girls pull petals off a flower, while saying: “He loves me, he loves me not.” The fateful moment of decision is about to arrive, the moment that will carve everything solid.

SCENE 14, FIGURE 1

SCENE 11, FIGURE 2

SCENE 14, FIGURE 2


the blue scene 15 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; scene 25


THE blue

Scene 15 — 16

35

Scene 15: Taxi Paul is running towards the taxi, calling out for Camille. He gets in the taxi and faces Camille. Paul: You’re going too far. Camille: (not meeting his eyes) Forget what I said, Paul. Act as though nothing had happened. Camille is looking around; outside the window, at Paul, straight ahead. Close-up shot of Camille is saturated of color then suddenly switches to a scene of traffic. Scene 16: Movie theater ‘Silver Cine’ Camille and Paul enter through the curtains into a well-lighted movie theater. There are few people seated sparsely in the audience. The show has already started and as the two make their way to their seats Paul tries to put his arm on Camille’s shoulders but fails to do so by Camille’s rejection. In the stage, the main actress, dressed in a red top and skirt, dances in the middle with a group of dancers waltzing in pairs. Camille and Paul finds where Fritz and Jerry are seated, and the couple split; Camille seats with Fritz, while Paul with Jerry. Jerry: Are you going to Capri, too? Camille is busy passing greetings with Lang to realize Jerry is speaking to her. Francesca: (translating in French) (beckoning Camille) Camille: peut-être. Francesca: Maybe. Paul: ça va? Camille: Oui. Music plays on. The main actresses is still singing and dancing alone while the group of dancers in the back embrace one another. Jerry: I reread The Odyssey last night. Francesca: (translating in French) Jerry: And I’ve finally found something I’ve been looking for, for a long, long time. Francesca: (translating in French) Jerry: Somethings that’s just as indispensable to the movies, as it is to real life. Francesca: (translating in French) Jerry: Poetry. Francesca: la poésie. Jerry: (resting his arms on Paul’s shoulders) Do you remember what I told you on the phone? Frances: (trying to translate) Paul: (interrupting Francesca) Ah, oui oui oui. They say Ulysses came home to Penelope, but maybe Ulysses had been fed up with Penelope. So he went off to the Trojan war, and since he didn’t feel like going home, he kept traveling as long as he could. Fritz: Do you think it was an idea of his or …? (pointing a finger towards Paul) Camille glances over to the direction of Fritz’s fingers, sees Paul, then shrugs. With a smile, she puts her hand to her mouth and mouthes a word to Fritz. Everyone stands up to leave, as Jerry still seats and applauds loudly. Paul suddenly grabs Camille by the wrists and pulls her close. Paul: Why do you despise me? Camille: (pulling back) Leave me alone! Jerry: What do you think, Fritz? Fritz: The girl or him? (pointing, again, at Paul) Jerry: (beckoning the stage) Of the girl, Fanasica.


THE blue

Scene 16 — 18

36

Fritz: She’ll be extremely good for the sounds of Australia. With the kangaroos. Camille: Coming to Capri with us, Mr. Lang? Fritz: “Each morning, to earn my bread I go to the market where lies are sold, and hopeful, I get in line with the other sellers.” Camille: What’s that? Fritz: Hollywood. From a ballad by poor B.B. Paul; Bertolt Brecht? (handing out his box of cigarettes) Fritz: Oui. (picking up a cigarette) Merci. Jerry: (pointing at the stage) She agrees to take off her clothes, Tuesday morning, 8 o’clock, on the beach. Now, what do you think of (pointing at Paul) him? Fritz: (shrugging) Homer’s world is a real world. And the poet belonged to a civilization that grew in harmony, not in opposition, with nature. And the beauty of The Odyssey lies precisely in this belief in reality as it is. Paul: Thus in reality as it appears objectively. Fritz: Exactly, and in a form that cannot be broken down, and is what it is. Take it or leave it. Jerry: Why don’t you say something? Lights deem slowly to a total blackout. Slowly Camille’s profile appears. Camille: Because I have nothing to say. Scene 17: Out side the ‘Silver Cine’ Camille: I don’t know if I’ll go to Capri. Where would we stay? Francesca: (translating in English) Where’s she going to stay, Jerry? Jerry: In my villa. Francesca: (translating in French) Jerry: With your husband. Francesca: (translating in French) Camille: (speaking in French) Francesca: Mr. Lang, too? Jerry walks backwards, swings his hands at them, and goes towards his car. Francesca: (shrugging) Wherever he likes. Fritz: Producers are something I can easily do without. (taking off his hat) Madame. Fritz pats Paul by the arm and leaves, while Jerry’s car also drives away. The couple are left awkwardly on the front steps of the movie theater. Camille pulls her cardigan closely around her as Paul smokes his cigarette. Paul: Don’t come if you don’t want to. (wrapping his arms around her) I’m not forcing you. Camille: It’s not you that’s forcing me. It’s life. Paul gives Camille a kiss on her head. Scene 18: On the boat of Capri Camille, with her sunglasses, is sitting on the deck of a boat. Her vibrant blonde hair is glowing in the sun. Camera men are adjusting the camera, whilst directions are being yelled at across the boat. Paul: What are you doing? (crouching down next to Camille) What are you doing? Camille: Looking. Paul: Don’t stay by yourself. Join us. Camille: (taking off her sunglasses to see Paul) What were you talking about? Paul: The Odyssey. I agree with Prokosch’s theory. Camille: What theory’s that?


THE blue

Scene 18 — 19

37

Paul: That Ulysses loves his wife, but she doesn’t love him. Camille: You really think that? I’m sure you don’t. Directions are shouted from the megaphone and a film assistant comes up to the couple. Film Assistant: Please, you’re in frame. Director: (speaking through the megaphone) Places, everyone! Film crew are giving more orders as the actresses, wrapped in yellow robes, walk across the boat to get in position of the frame. Camille and Paul move to the stern of the boat and take seats in chairs. Paul: (pointing to the actresses) Will they undress? Camille: Of course. Paul: Aren’t movies great! You see women in dresses, in movies, you see their ass! Paul glances at Jerry, who’s standing up on the boat and looking down on everyone while clinging playfully on to the rope of the boat. Francesca: Jerry, Jolavine is calling at one from New York. Jerry: (Looking at Camille) Why don’t you come up to the villa with me, and leave them (pointing at Paul) talk. Francesca: (translating in French) Camille: (speaking in French) Francesca: She’s going with her husband. Jerry: (whining and waving his hand) Aw, come on. You spend all day with him. Come on! Francesca: (translating in French) Camille: (looking up at Jerry then turning her head back towards Paul) Paul. Jerry: Mind if your wife comes along with me? Francesca: (translating in French) Camille looks up at Jerry than back again to Paul. Paul: Not at all. Go on, Camille. Hearing Paul’s words, Camille’s head drops. Paul: Go on. (shrugging) I don’t mind, go on. Go on! I’ll walk back with Mr. Lang to discuss The Odyssey. Taking out a cigarette from his inside pocket, Paul lights it and exhales on it slowly while watching Camille go on the boat with Jerry. Camille gives Paul a long look before stepping in to the boat. In the boat, Camille doesn’t sit down and but stands to look at Paul. Film Assistant: The girls are in the water. Fritz: Merci. It won’t take long. First a scene in which we see the Council of the Gods discussing man’s fate. Scenery of the Capri ocean spreads out, then switches to Fritz’s film rush of The Odyssey. Scene 19: Island of Capri Paul is standing on a steep rock mountain, looking out on the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Fritz: A producer can be a friend to a director. I think it’s stupid to change the character of Ulysses. He’s not a modernday neurotic, but a simple, clever and robust man. Paul: (walking down the cliff) I find the idea interesting. It takes Ulysses 10 years to return home because he doesn’t want to. It’s logical. Fritz: It’s logical, and the illogical borrows from the logical. Your Corneille said it in his preface to Suréna. Paul: Ulysses doesn’t rush home to Ithaca because he was unhappy with Penelope, even before he went off. (walking down the mountain, through the trees) Had he been happy, he’d have stayed home. He used the Trojan war to get away from his wife. Fritz: He killed her suitors, didn’t he?

// scene 18: figure 1


THE blue

Scene 19 — 22

38

Paul: That can be justified… by the fact that Ulysses had told Penelope to give in and accept the gifts. He didn’t see the suitors as serious threats. He didn’t throw them out, to avoid a scandal. Knowing Penelope to be faithful, he told her to be nice to the suitors. I think that’s when Penelope, who at heart is a simple woman, began to despise him. She stopped loving Ulysses because of his conduct and she told him so. Ulysses then realized too late he’d lost Penelope’s love because he’d been overly cautious. The only way to win her back was to murder the suitors. Fritz: Death is no resolution. Screen pans out to Jerry’s villa on the edge of the cliff. Figures are seen walking up and down the stairs. Scene 20: rooftop of Jerry’s villa Camille sits on the wide rooftop, looking out into the ocean. She walks around barefoot, glances over at where Paul and Fritz are and waves her hand. Camille walks slowly around a bit more than walks fast out of the screen. Paul enters in the direction where Camille exited a few seconds before. scene 20: figure 1 — 3 //

Paul: Camille. (searching around) Ca----mille! Paul walks all around the rooftop than kneels down to glimpse at Camille sitting on the windowsill. Jerry is sitting by her, and just as Paul leans over, Jerry kisses her. After the initial kiss, Camille peeks out to the rooftop to see Paul, than resumes. Scene 21: outside Jerry’s villa Francesca is leaning against the red wall, wrapped in a yellow robe, and brushing her hair while looking at herself in a mirror. Fritz walks down the steps. Francesca: (taking out a revolver from her robe pocket) I found this on the boat. Fritz: Children mustn’t play with firearms. Paul puts the revolver into his inside pockets and walks up the stairs into the villa. Fritz and Francesca follow him. Scene 22: Inside Jerry villa, living room Paul walks around the living room, aggravated, as waiters are preparing the dinner table. Paul stands over at the large window, looking out over to the sea, as Fritz occupies the blue sofa close to Paul and watches him closely. Paul sees Camille come in with Jerry. Jerry: (closing the door behind him) Paul! What would you like to drink? l’eau? Paul: (shaking his hand) No. Camille walks toward the window and stands by it as Paul sits on the sofa across. Jerry: Camille! Come here, I wanna show you something. (pointing to a small opening on the wall) A beaut! You see the trees and the rocks, the boats… Paul walks over and sits right in between Camille and Jerry. Paul: (speaking in French) Francesca: Jerry, he won’t do the script. Jerry: Why? Francesca: Pourquoi? Paul: (speaking in French) Francesca: Can he be frank? Jerry: Ah, Paul. (putting his arms around Paul’s shoulders) You can always be frank with me.


THE blue

Scene 22 — 23

39

Francesca: (translating in French) Paul: (standing up and walking towards the large window) I’m a playwright. I’m not a screenwriter. (walking up and down, nervously) Even if it’s a fine script… I’m being frank, I’d do it only for the money! That’s why I’m in a bad mood. We all have an ideal. Mine’s writing plays. I can’t. Why? Francesca: His ideal is to write for stage. Paul: (aggressively) In today’s world, we have to accept what others want. Why does money matter so much in what we do, in what we are, in what we become? Even in our relationships with those we love. Paul is walking up and down while everyone else is crowded around the sofa. Francesca is holding onto Jerry’s hands, Camille is slumping in her seat, disinterested, and Fritz is paying close attention to everything Paul’s saying. Francesca: Why is money so important? Even our very relationships, with the people we love. Paul: (sitting down on the window sill) He was right! Francesca: Mr.Lang was right. Paul: (shouting in French) Francesca: (translating) Either you do honest or diss it, or you don’t do it at all. Jerry shakes his head and hands in strong disapproval. Francesca: (follows Jerry’s handshakes) Mr.Prokosch already said it: You’re wrong. You aspire to a world like Homer’s. You want it to exist, but unfortunately it doesn’t. Paul: (shouting) Why not? It does! Jerry: (jumps out from his seat) No!! (slamming the wall two, three times with his feet) Francesca: (leaning towards Paul) You may be right, but when it comes to making movies, dreams aren’t enough. Paul gently nods in agreement and walks up to where Jerry is standing, and sits right next to him. Camille: When do we eat? Francesca: (translating in Italian) Waiter: (speaking in Italian) Francesca: In an hour. Camille: Bon. (standing up) I’m going for a walk. Jerry: (pointing to Fritz, then towards the outside as walking out) Mr. Lang. Francesca: Mr. Prokosch wants to speak with you. Jerry: (shouting) Bring my shoes! Fritz: (wiping his glasses) Is that an order or a request? Francesca: (holding a pair of shoes) A request. Francesca walks out, and as Fritz stands up from his seat, he turns towards Paul. Fritz: (shrugging) One must suffer. Paul: That’s for sure.

// scene 22: figure 1

Scene 23: Rooftop and the sea Paul exits the villa, walks around the stairs looking for Camille. Paul: (shouting) Camille! Paul zigzags his way up the stairway, occasionally stopping to look around and shout Camille’s name. He reaches the rooftop and finds Camille sunbathing behind the wall. Camille is lying down on a yellow blanket, with a book over her behind. Paul stops to stare at Camille for a few seconds. Paul: (gently) Camille. It’s me, Paul. Camille lifts her head up, puts on her sunglasses, and stares back at Paul.

// scene 23: figure 1


THE blue

scene 23: figure 2 //

Scene 23

40

Paul: I’ve been watching you as if I were seeing you for the first time. Camille takes off her sunglasses and lowers her head back down to the floor. Paul: (walking closer to her) Mind if I stay? Camille: (head still in her arms) Stay if you like. Paul crouches down next to her and picks up the book covering the top of her buttocks. Paul: Why didn’t you speak up earlier? Camille: I don’t get you! You always said you loved that script. Now you tell the producer it’s for the money, that your ideal’s the theater. (putting the sunglasses back on and looking at Paul) He’s no fool. Next time, he’ll think twice before asking you. (turning away, then back again) How can you not understand something so simple? (taking the sunglasses off) I bet you’ll do it anyway. Paul: No. Camille: You’ll see. (smiling slightly) I know you. (more softly) I know you. Paul: If i do, it’ll be for you. To pay for the flat. I’ll let you decide whether I do the script or not. If you say no, we’ll leave. Camille: Very clever! Paul: Not at all. Why? Camille: If you regret it later, you can blame it on me. Paul: Not at all! I’m asking you to decide. Camille: You really want me to tell you what to do? Paul: Oui. Camille: Then do the script! You signed a contract and you bore me. Camille wraps the yellow robe around her and walks away as Paul follows behind. Paul: I saw him kiss you earlier. Camille: I know you did. Paul: Why don’t you love me anymore? Camille: That’s life. Paul: Why do you despise me? Camille: (quickly turning around and facing Paul) I’ll never tell you, even if I were dying. (walking down the stairs) Paul: (running to catch up with Camille and grabbing her by the neck) Tell me or I’ll hurt you. Camille: (twitching out) Why hurt me on top of it? Paul: (running down the staircase to catch up with Camille) I have to know why you despise me. This is crazy! How can you expect me to accept it? As Camille and Paul are running down the stairs towards the sea, Camille running away while Paul is chasing after her, the couple past by Francesca as she is walking up the stairs. Camille: We need the money to pay for the flat. I quit my typing job. Paul: I can’t accept that after what happened. So, of course, you despise me. Camille: (slightly smiling) You see us kiss but you’re ready to change your mind anyway. Paul: I turned the job down for you. So you’d change your mind about me. (reaching his hand out onto Camille’s shoulder) Camille: (backing away) Don’t touch me. I don’t love you anymore. (sitting down on the steps) There’s no way I’ll ever love you again. Paul: (sitting down next to her) Even if I turn it down, you’ll despise me? Camille: (looking away) Yes, I will. Paul: Why? (shouting) Tell me why! There must be a reason. (grabbing Camille by the shoulders)


THE blue

Scene 23 — 24

41

Camille: (staring at him) You’re the reason. Paul: What do you mean, me? Camille: I don’t know. You’re not a man. Anyhow, it’s too late. I’ve changed my mind about you. Paul: (throwing a pebble towards the sea) I know why you despise me. When I took the taxi the other day, you thought I let you go with him on purpose. Huh? Same thing on the boat earlier. Don’t be stupid! (throwing another one) I have faults, but that’s not one. Camille: I’ll never forgive you. I loved you so much. Now it’s impossible. (looking at Paul) I hate you because you’re incapable of moving me. (standing up abruptly) Paul: (trying to reach out to her) I can! You’re on the verge of tears. (following Camille down the stairs) We’re leaving! We’ll pack up and go. Camille: I’m staying. Go if you like. Paul: Come on, Camille! Camille: (looking back at him) No. Paul: Then I’m staying, too. But Prokosch will throw us out. Camille: Don’t start! Paul: I will! Camille throws her yellow robe at Paul, and Paul walks over to the cliff and watches Camille swim. Paul adjusts his hat to cover his eyes from the sun. Paul is still in the same position, but it’s darker around him. Paul lifts his hat up, and puts it back in its right position. He rubs his eyes and looks around at his surroundings. Camille: (narrating) Dear Paul, I found you revolver and took the bullets out. If you won’t leave, I will. Since Prokosch has to return to Rome, I’m going with him. Then I’ll probably move into a hotel alone. Take care. Farewell. Camille.

// scene 23: figure 3

Scene 24: The street Jerry is driving his red convertible in to the gas station and Camille is seated next to him. As he stops the engine, he beckons the gas station assistant. Jerry: Full, pieno, pieno. Jerry and Camille step out of the car to stretch out. Camille looks around and Jerry touches slightly on Camille’s arms. Jerry: What are you going to do in Rome? Camille stares back at him, unable to understand. Jerry: tu sais, Rome! Camille: (shouting delightfully) Ah! Um.. (making a typing motion) Typist. Jerry: (hanging his head down) You’re crazy. (pointing a finger at his temples) You’re out of your head. Camille: Me? (shakes her hands furiously) No. (again making a typing motion) Typist. Jerry: (walking away) Yeah. (walking around, finds a small flower and picks it up) Camille! Que’st que… What do you think of me? Camille: Get into your Alfa, Romeo. We’ll se about that later. <flashback: Camille’s letter to Paul, showing the words: ‘Je t’embrasse’- Take care> Camille is holding the flower to her cheek and Jerry is driving out into the street. He speeds up. <flashback: Camille’s letter showing the words: ‘Adieu. Camille’Farewell. A car honks desperately, tires screech, then a big collision. Everything becomes dead silent>

// scene 24: figure 1


THE blue

Scene 24 — 25

42

The lights of Jerry’s red convertible flash, while Jerry and Camille are hung immobile against their seats. The car is stuck in-between two containers of a truck. Blood drip down Camille’s profile. Scene 25: Capri Paul, with his suitcase, stops outside Jerry’s villa. He leaves his suitcase on the street and starts to walk up to the rooftop, passing by Francesca.

scene 25: figure 1 //

Paul: Good-bye, then. Francesca doesn’t look back at him. Paul continues the staircase, pass the wall, to the film set of The Odyssey. Film crew are busily moving about in their business and Fritz is sitting on a director’s chair, reading. Paul: (standing in front of Fritz) Mr. Lang, I’ve come to say good-bye. Fritz: (standing up to hold Paul’s hand) Good-bye. What will you do? Paul: Go back to Rome, finish my play. Fritz: Bon. Paul: And you? Fritz: I’ll finish the film. Always finish what you start. Paul: (looking at the film set) What shot are you doing? Fritz: Ulysses’ gaze when he first sees his homeland again. Paul: Ithaca. Good-bye Mr. Lang (shaking hands, again) Fritz: Good-bye. I hope we’ll meet again. Film crew: Mr. Lang, we’re ready. (on the microphone) Quiet on the set! The scene pans out, across Lang’s camera and filmcrew, past Ulysses to a view of the open Mediterranean.


THE blue

figures

43

SCENE 18: FIGURE 1 When Jerry asks Camille to join him in his boat back home, Camille responds: “No, I’ll return by foot with my husband, in a bit.” Jerry repeats his invitation, more forcefully. We then see Bardot in close-up as she says “Paul!” This single word is an urgent appeal for help. She bows her head, perhaps ashamed, as Paul responds: “Go, Camille, go! It’s fine with me—go, Camille, go!” After he finishes talking, the camera zooms in on him as he lights his cigarette and closes his eyes for a moment, in a literalization of his metaphoric blindness. When he opens them, the action he has precipitated has already begun. The scene underscores “leaving her to the producer” much more emphatically than the first time. SCENE 18, FIGURE 1

SCENE 20: FIGURE 1 — 3 In the scene that takes place on the roof of Jerry’s villa, Paul and Camille reenact both of the versions of The Odyssey which Paul has put forward. In so doing, they change the form as well as the narrative of The Odyssey. The first roof scene is staged less in the guise of an epic poem than a play. The roof is elevated, like a stage; Camille and Paul must climb dozens of steps to reach it. And, like a nature theater, this stage has as its spectacular backdrop the sky, sea, and rocks of Capri. Paul and Camille also behave as if they were on stage. Camille waves with both arms to Paul as he returns from his walk, the oversized scale of her movements suggesting the need to communicate to spectators even in the back row of the theatre that she SCENE 20, FIGURE 1

is Penelope, welcoming Odysseus home from his twenty-year journey. Paul enters the stage, and calls loudly for Camille, although he can see that no one is there. A moment later, Camille kisses Jerry in front of one of the villa’s windows, and thereby makes Penelope unfaithful to Odysseus. As she does so, she displays herself for an implied spectator. The villa window is the inverted equivalent of a balcony on an Elizabethan stage.

SCENE 20, FIGURE 2

SCENE 20, FIGURE 3


THE blue

figures

44

SCENE 22, FIGURE 1

SCENE 22: FIGURE 1

SCENE 22: FIGURE 1 — 2 When Paul arrives to the rooftop, he finds Camille wearing a metaphoric fig leaf. Covering not her genitals, but rather the buttocks so lovingly photographed by the camera both in fantasy sequences and the second scene of the blason, is an open book. When Paul removes the fig leaf, Camille assumes a more ample one: a yellow bathrobe. Already during the quarrel scene, Paul felt the need to cover Camille’s body, as if it had lost its innocence. Now nudity has assumed a definitevly post-lapsarian significance. Paul tells Camille that he sees her as

Paul and Camille suddenly find themselves caught up in the cinematic adaptation of The Odyssey, they begin to interpret their own lives through that narrative, and in the process embue certain

events with a threatening significance. Paul and Camille do not merely reenact, but also rewrite the story of Odysseus and Penelope. While Camille kisses Jerry, Paul finally

musters the energy to quit his job. He cannot bring himself to say why he no longer wants to work for Jerry, and he subsequently indicates that even this decision is less than final.

SCENE 23, FIGURE 1

SCENE 23, FIGURE 2

if for the first time — that the scales have fallen from his eyes. For the first time, he is also able to articulate to Camille and himself the reason for their estrangement. But it seems that he still sees without seeing. He asks Camille to decide if he should write the Odysseus script or not and he offers to stay on with her at Jerry’s villa. With every utterance their estrangement becomes more absolute. The irrevocable is finally made irrevocable, placed beyond the possibility of a redemptive reenactment.


THE blue

figures

45

SCENE 23, FIGURE 3

SCENE 23: FIGURE 3 The last scene in which Paul and Camille are in frame together, the final separation of the couple is apparent by the drastic contrast in composition. While Camille is actively swimming in the blue ocean, Paul is remote, sleeping against a rock. This symbolizes Camille’s move forward opposed to Paul’s static stance.

SCENE 24, FIGURE 1

SCENE 25: FIGURE 1 Paul has lost Camille and decided against the picture— the two things he felt he needed but didn’t know why he did. After saying goodbye to Fritz, he stands by to watch the filming of a scene, the return of Ulysses to Ithaca. The shot pans across the film crew and past Ulysses to a view of the open Mediterranean. This shot of the meeting of sea and sky, an intangible horizon line, is a symbol for infinite possibility and reflection. Paul is looking out on it as a statement that as the experience of the movie comes to a close for him, it at the same time opens up a period of reflection for him.

SCENE 25, FIGURE 1


infographics

LANGUAGES

46

languages of le mépris Le Mépris is a film obsessed with communication and its breakdowns—with misunderstandings, mistranslations, and all the infinite things that can never be expressed with words.

COUNT.................... The frequency of the four languages—French, English, German, Italian— are counted by the number of sentences spoke in each language. Brief exclamations and names were not taken into account.

Languages

COLOR.................... The count is broken down in three section of the screenplay; the Red, the Yellow, and the Blue and is color coded in each section’s color.

sentences spoken

French

913 /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// 284 /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////// 394 /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////////////// 235

English

164 /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// //////////////////// 115 ///////////////////////////////////////////////// 49

German

Italian

12 ////////// 10 // 2 5 / 1 //// 4


1:05:00 1:10:00 ////////

35:00

////////////////

////////////

///////

/////////////////

/////////////////

/

0:00

///////////

/

////

timeline

///

infographics 46-1

timeline of the languages 5:00

40:00

1:1


1:30:00 1:30:00 ///////////

////

1:05:00

//////////////

///////////////////////

////////////

//////////////////

///////////

30:00

//////////

/

///

//

1:00:00

////

////////

/////////

///////

///////

/////////

///////////

/////////////

///////

/////////////////

////////////////

25:00

//////////////

////////////////////

/////////////

55:00

/////////////////////

///////////

////

///////

//////////////

50:00

///////////////

//////////

/////////////

///////////

///////////////////// 20:00

/

1:25:00 ///////////////

///

////

/

45:00 /////////////

///////////////////

//////

////////

////////////////////

/////////////////

15:00

/ / / /

1:20:00 ////////

/////////

//////

////

0

/////////////////////

//////////

/////////////////

///////////////////// 10:00 ///

/

/////

timeline

/ /

15:00 ////

//////////

////////////

infographics 46-2

35:00

1:40:00

French English German Italian


bibliography

47

bibliography Contempt. Dir. Jean-Luc Godard. Perf. Michel Piccoli, Brigitte Bardot, and Fritz Lang. Rome-Paris Films, Films Concordia, Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, 1963. DVD. Dixon, Wheeler W. The Films of Jean-Luc Godard. Albany: State University of New York, 1997. Print. Gardner, Colin. Le Mépris. Magill’s Survey of Cinema. Vol. 5. Englewood Cliffs, N.J .: Salem, 1985. 2019-023. Print. Foreign Language Films. Godard, Jean Luc. Godard on Godard: Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard. New York, NY: Da Capo, 1986. Print. “Jean-Luc Godard.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 30 Nov. 2010. <http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Luc_Godard>. MacCabe, Colin. Godard: a Portrait of the Artist at Seventy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. Print. Mussman, Toby. Jean-Luc Godard: a Critical Anthology. New York: E. P. Dutton &, 1968. Silverman, Kaja, and Harun Farocki. Speaking about Godard. New York: New York UP, 1998. Print.


colophon

This book was conceived and designed by Sebit Min, in partial fulfillment of the class “The Perfect Paragraph”, instructed by Richard Mehl, during 2010 Fall semester at the School of Visual Arts. The book uses the typefaces Walbaum and Prestige Elite; former for title treatments and latter for text, captions, and infographics. Prestige Elite was chosen in resemblance to the typical ‘typewriter’ typeface used for screenplays, Courier. Walbaum was chosen to dramatically contrast the mechanical aspect of the typewriter type. Printed inkjet on 165 gsm, Projet double-sided matte paper. Sebit Min December 2010

48



le mépris