Cinema: Off-Course Odyssey

Contempt is doodling disguised as art. French Director Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, My Life to Live) has built a reputation as an improviser who makes up masterpieces as he goes along. In this inflated drama of marital disintegration, based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, spontaneity looks more like slackness. Contempt subjects Godard's staunchest admirers to a loyalty test that precious few will pass.

Moravia's story describes the plight of a frustrated Italian screenwriter whose wife no longer loves him. Hired to write a film version of the Odyssey, he sees his wife being seduced by the producer and drifts into complex psychoanalogies...

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