Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Contempt (1963)

WHO: Jean-Luc Godard wrote and directed this.

WHAT: Godard's biggest-budgeted film, and his only one featuring superstar Brigitte Bardot. Godard fans almost always count it among his greatest films, and even Godard non-fans tend to like it better than the rest of his filmography, too. Cinematographer Raoul Coutard recorded some great comments about shooting the film for the Criterion Collection.

WHERE/WHEN: Today only at 4:45, 7:00 and 9:15 at the Castro.

WHY: I don't get quite the same excitement from getting an advance peek at the Castro calendar as I used to. As more and more of their bookings seem to be of digital presentations rather than 35mm prints, the anticipation is delayed until the the back page of the theatre's calendar is put to press, as that's what reveals the formats of each show. I can predict that among December's bookings Dial 'M' For Murder will be a digital 3D presentation and not a dual-system 35mm showing, and that Jesse Ficks's MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS presentations of Home For the Holidays, Love Actually, Valley Girl and Raising Arizona will probably be film-on-film. But anything else is merely guessing, so I'm not sure yet if I should cancel all my plans to catch Phantom of the Paradise in a uber-rare 35mm print December 14th, or if I'll be easily able to nonchalantly pass by another digital presentation that evening.

But with a film like Contempt I'm torn. It's been years since I've had a chance to see it on 35mm, and have been wanting to revisit it ever since finally seeing one of the films it most famously references, Some Came Running, earlier this year. But Contempt is not all that much easier to see via any of my other habitual methods right now. The Criterion DVD is out of print and all San Francisco Public Library copies have departed from the shelves. Not even every surviving local video rental store still has a copy, last I checked. So today's showing holds some appeal, if not quite as much as this Friday's 35mm screening of Vivre Sa Vie at the Pacific Film Archive, or next Wednesday's Band of Outsiders at the Castro.


No comments:

Post a Comment