|Site locale: United States||
Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
A screenwriter finds his marriage falling apart as he attempts to get started a film version of the "The Odyssey."
For more about Le mépris and the Le mépris Blu-ray release, see the Le mépris Blu-ray Review
Starring: Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang, Giorgia Moll, Linda Véras
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
» See full cast & crew
Le mépris Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, October 11, 2009
Based on Alberto Moravia's famous novel "Il Disprezzo", Jean-Luc Godard's "Le mépris" (1965) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Optimum Home Entertainment. Amongst the special features on the disc are a short introduction by British writer and film producer Colin Maccabe, Antoine de Gaudemar's "Once Upon A Time There Was...Contempt", a conversation with Fritz Lang, the documentary "Contempt...tenderly" and more. With optional English, German, Castellan, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish and Japanese subtitles. Region A/B.
Like most Jean-Luc Godard films, Le mépris is a fascinating character study, only this time around the key character is Cinema. Admittedly, the notable presence of French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot may encourage some viewers to seek a slightly different read of Le mépris, one where she is the focus of attention, but this would be a frustrating experience given that the actual events the film chronicles are fairly uninteresting.
Le mépris has a complex, maddening construction. The film effectively works on two different levels - making a strong case about the ability of Cinema to create powerful illusions, and observing the mechanics of creating Cinema.
There are five protagonists in Le mépris - a powerful European director, Fritz Lang (playing himself), who has been hired to shoot an adaption of Homer's epic, The Odyssey, a gifted playwright, Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli, Le trio infernal), who debates whether or not he could rewrite the script to the film, his beautiful wife, Camille Javal (Brigitte Bardot, Et Dieu...crea la femme), a cocky American producer, Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance, The Barbarians), who has financed the project, and a multilingual translator, Francesca Vanini (Giorgia Moll, Il ladro di Bagdad). In one way or another, each of them is used to highlight the creative hurdles Cinema must overcome before it becomes...Cinema. Their individual stories, however, are hardly of any interest.
Throughout Le mépris, ideas, suggestions and criticism are communicated in French, German, Italian and English. Even with Francesca present, the main protagonists often converse in different languages. The idea here is to stress that Cinema is a universal language, one that anyone could understand.
The ability of Cinema to create, erode and destroy perceptions is also effectively addressed in Le mépris. The scene where Lang views the raw footage with the Greek gods, which inspires an energetic statement that they are created by men, not vice versa, implies that myths and religions, like movie stars and films, exist because they welcome and encourage manipulation - they can manipulate or be manipulated.
Sex, perhaps Cinema's most powerful commodity, is suspiciously missing from Le mépris. Aside from a few short scenes where Godard's camera studies Bardot's naked body, the rest of the film is risk-free (ironically, these specific scenes were introduced into the film only because its American financiers made it perfectly clear to Godard that they did not get what they paid for after they were screened a rough cut of Le mépris).
Cinematographer Raoul Coutard's (Passion) lensing - from the nostalgic shots at Cinecitta to the gorgeous vistas from Casa Malaparte on the Isle of Capri - is breathtaking. It gently soothes one's frustration with the film's complex narrative, though the violent finale quickly puts things back in (Godardian) perspective.
The only constant in Le mépris is Georges Delerue's (Il conformista) haunting soundtrack (composed after the film was completed). Its main theme, a beautiful leitmotiv, lingers with one long after the end credits roll.
Le mépris Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Jean-Luc Godard's Le mépris arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Optimum Home Entertainment.
This high-definition transfer is just a tiny bit weaker than the one the British distributors and French juggernaut Studio Canal delivered for Belle de jour. Once again, it appears that the two parties have used dated elements to bring the film to Blu-ray. As a result, there are some minor inconsistencies with the presentation which I am going to address in a minute.
First, however, the good news - there are no traces of serious filtering. As a result, the grain structure of Le mépris is very much intact. From the provocative close-ups of Bardot's naked body in the very beginning of the film to the intoxicatingly beautiful panoramic vistas from the Isle of Capri, Le mépris looks gorgeous. Edge-enhancement and macroblocking are not a serious issue of concern. I did see some thick lining popping up here and there, but this isn't something that would detract from your viewing experience.
Now, the film's color-scheme is where most of the issues with this transfer appear. Because Le mépris has not been thoroughly restored (like Godard's Pierrot le fou), there are some random color pulsations that you would notice. Reds, yellows, greens and blues are the ones that are affected the most by them. Finally, unlike the R1 SDVD Criterion released some time ago, this Blu-ray transfer retains the film's correct color scheme.
Aside from a few minor specks popping up here and there, Le mépris looks solid. There are no serious debris, scratches, or warps to report in this review.
To sum it all up, despite the few minor reservations I have with the transfer, I think that this is a solid release that outperforms every single SDVD release that I have seen of Le mépris. And just so it is perfectly clear to those who share the opinion that this should be obvious, the high-definition transfer gives the film an entirely new look, one with pleasing depth and detail that I have not previously witnessed.
Note: This disc has been coded for Regions A and B. Therefore, you must have a native Region A or B, or Region-Free, PS3 or SA in order to access its content. Please note that if you reside in a Region-C territory, and have only a native Region-C PS3 or SA, you won't be able to access the disc's content. Additionally, you could set the disc's main menu in one of the following languages: English (Australian specs), Danish, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, English (UK specs), English (USA specs), and Japanese. Please note that if you select to set up the menu with the USA specs, the default language track would be the English one. Therefore, you need to manually select the original French audio track).
Le mépris Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are four audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, German DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. I opted for the original French audio track.
The French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is solid. It reveals a lot more depth and clarity than I could hear on my R2 SDVD (courtesy of Momentum Pictures) or R1 SDVD (courtesy of Criterion). The dialog is crisp, clear and extremely easy to follow). Georges Delerue's haunting soundtrack sounds particularly impressive, perhaps a lot stronger than I expected it would. There are a couple of scenes where I detected a bit of mild background noise, but overall I have absolutely no reservations with the French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track whatsoever.
I did a few random comparisons with the Spanish dub, which I assumed contained the alternative music score by Piero Piccioni. As far as I could tell, however, this isn't it - this is a basic dubbed only version of the film. Also, there is a lot more background noise on it that will surely annoy those of you who choose to ignore the original French track.
Please note that Optimum Home Entertainment have provided optional English, German, Castellan, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish and Japanese subtitles for the main feature. They are excellent - not too big, not too small. When turned on, the subtitles appear inside the image frame.
Le mépris Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Note: All of the supplemental features on this Blu-ray disc are in 480/60i. Therefore, they are perfectly playable on all Region-A PS3s and SAs.
Introduction - British writer and film producer Colin Maccabe delivers a short introduction for Godard's film where he highlights its strengths. (6 min).
Once Upon A Time There Was...Contempt - a co-production between FOLAMOUR, Ina, TCM and France 5, directed by Antoine de Gaudemar, focusing on history of Godard's film. Indeed, this is an incredibly informative film in which the French director recalls how Le mepris came to exist,, what it meant to him, etc. Fantastic! In French, with English subtitles. (53 min).
Contempt...tenderly - a co-production between Studio Canal, Point du Jour, and CineCinema. French writer Alain Bergala, author of "Godard au travail, les annees 60", talks about the French director's legacy how Alberto Moravia's novel inspired Le mepris. In French, with English subtitles. (32 min).
The dinosaurs and the baby - a dialogue in eight parts between Fritz Lang and Jean-Luc Godard with extracts from M and Le mepris. In French, with English subtitles. (B&W, 61 min).
Conversation with Fritz Lang - a short interview with the German director. In German, with English subtitles. (B&W, 15 min).
Tralier - In French, with English subtitles. (3 min).
BD-Live functionality -
Booklet - a 20-page illustrated booklet with information about the film.
Le mépris Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The most sensual of Jean-Luc Godard's films, Le mépris, has now arrived on Blu-ray. Folks, this is easily the best this wonderful film has ever looked. I must also point out that the supplemental features on the disc are absolutely terrific. I cannot think of a single reason why you would not want to have Le mépris in your collections. Recommended.
Le mépris Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Studio Canal Collection Gets Detailed - September 16, 2009
Our British mates of DVD Times have listed the full release details of seven titles that Optimum Home Entertainment is releasing on Blu-ray on September 28 under the "Studio Canal Collection": 'Belle de jour', 'The Deer Hunter', 'The Elephant Man', 'Last Year In ...
• Optimum Unleashes Blu-ray Deluge - June 2, 2009
Optimum Home Entertainment has added nearly forty catalog titles to its Blu-ray schedule, for release between July and September 2009. Titles run the gamut of genres, from Hong Kong martial arts to European arthouse classics, and more Luc Besson than you can ...
Le mépris Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Le mépris Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Le mépris Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2013 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.