Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Contempt is a somewhat interesting work involving a couple comprised of a writer and a typist. The very occupations of these two seem to speak to one another, but not necessarily in a gender reflective way. The argument would seem to be that men are creative, possible of generating words, while women merely bring such words into the physical plane. This argument, however, does not seem relevant, or something that Godard would want to convey to the audience. What I do believe Godard is trying to say, however, may be the same as in Pierrot Le Fou.

One problem I had with the gender commentary in Pierrot Le Fou was that men are shown to be rational, while women are emotional. This appears on the surface in Contempt, in both the occupations of the characters and their portrayal. I think that both films give a simplistic view on the nature of gender, possibly due to the time period they were created in. As the conflict between rationalization and emotion creates communicational rifts, so does the assumed role of the gender. Possibly because the light of present times, I can say that I know plenty of women that are much more rational than I am.

The explicit gender categorizing in Contempt seems to stem from the generality apparent in the movie. As stated before, the occupations of the characters are good evidence in the case that Godard is making sweeping generalizations about differences in sex. The stereotypical predator role of Jerry in the movie seems to speak to the everyman quality plight of Paul. He is not willing to acknowledge that Jerry exists, and this creates an impassable rift in the relationship. Aside from gender issues, the film seems somewhat stale compared to Godard's other works. The plot and form really didn't appeal to me, but it was still minorly enjoyable.

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