Saturday, December 11, 2010
I have a right to change my mind
I like re watching Le Mepris.
'If you're happy , so am I.' -camille (Brigitte Bardot in Le Mepris)
I like re-watching Le Mepris because it is a film about things not working.
Motion is impeded, relationships disrupted, both in the film and outside of it.
Such things not working include Artists and Producers in a bad relationship...Palance confused by the ideas in the film he is financing, Lang being misunderstood in the other direction. His art film is not working because people don't communicate with him as a man and as an artist, only as a God. Everyone is concerned with preservation of beauty: both artistic and romantic. But the classical ruins of our environs forecasts the trajectory. Paul is hired to perform a job on this film, and it is one that he will necessarily fail. He is to communicate another artist's vision of another artist's vision. Lang's Odyssey via Homer. Paul (Piccoli)'s failures are intangible yet real. And he can not begin to comprehend why he has earned the scorn and lost the affection of Bardot's Camille.
As Piccoli says in the screening room , quoting Dante, with evident malaise as he watches the couple frolicing onscreen in the Mediterranean, as Delerue plays: "night then saw all the stars. we were filled with gladness, which soon turned to tears until the sea closed in upon us.'
Surrounded by ruins, the film is weighed down in misunderstandings and mis-married artistic visions. The blinding blueness of the landlocked Mediterranean sea, tainted by the surrounding rot of classical ruins...beautiful yet far from prisine. The cliffs that encroach upon it serving as abstract geographic spaces for Camille and Paul to fill to act out their psychological and romantic distance. Camille languishes on a path by the sea, Paul chasing her...Her scorn is as untranslatable as his motives and role on Lang's film. Godard makes certain points: Camille and Paul love each other. The primary red blue and golden yellow tints in the film's opening erotic scene is all we spy of love. The romance of the Sea is crystallized in a beaming blue as Paul gazes at the clip in the screening. We've come into this world with a last glance of what's dying. A romantic bond, the Cinecitta studios now papered with faded posters, the muddled film in the Sea. Subsequent use of primary colors is delegated to material objects; synthetic fabrics of clothing, painted metal and thick makeup on faces. Geographic and chromatic weight is given to the ripping apart of their romantic bond.
Godard's jump cuts move me because they are last glimpses. Desperately they catch moments; the erotically charged sort that equally fuel obsessions and love. Seconds to make out the image: echoing the cruel games of memory the mind plays as a love affair implodes. The colors are exaggerated Primaries and the movements of the edits are equally affected jolts. Fetishistic shots of Bardot's sulking suspending the progress of both the film and the relationship.
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