Jean-Luc Godard’s “Contempt/Le mepris” (1963) is the first part of his religious trilogy, followed by “Hail, Mary” (1985) and “Woe Is Me” (1993). While “Contempt” examines the psychological mechanism of relations between humans and gods of pagan “design” – the human humans (the people with psychology of god-worshippers) and the human gods (people with psychology of unconscious identification with gods), “Hail, Mary” analyzes the psychological roots of the Christian cult of Saint Mary, and “Woe is Me” – the return of pagan gods into post-Christian modernity in a form of technological constructions, tools and toys dominating people’s life in Western democracies.
In his analysis of religious psychology Godard separates people from religious (in a narrow sense) practices and metaphorizes these practices on personal and social relations between people in order to make their religious essence more articulate and vivid for the perception of the viewers. Religious psychology is not necessary creates loyalty to despotic dogmas (many atheists are very religious by psychology). In “Contempt” Godard shows how religious feelings show itself in private relations between Paul (Michel Piccoli), a modest writer of detective stories but educated and with an exceptional existentially spiritual taste person, and his wife Camille (Brigitte Bardot), a monumental beauty, and in social relations between Paul (identifying with Homer and Odyssey) and the mighty Hollywood producer Jeremiah Prokosch (the new incarnation of Poseidon/Neptune), played by Jack Polance in the only intellectually serious performance of his whole career. The both “gods” – Camille and Prokosch, are depicted with tender and subtle caricaturishness, while Paul’s destiny Godard generalizes as that of us all, the humanity. Godard deconstructs the relations between humans and gods as known in history - as metaphoric constructions of markedly sociomorphic relations between human beings as such (personified by Paul) and the human gods (personified by Camille and Prokosch). On the level of the plot the film describes the disagreements between Paul (the author of screenplay), Fritz Lang (the director) who plays himself, and Prokosch (the producer) – all trying together to make a film based on Homer’s Odyssey. But Godard’s scholarly intentions in the film are not limited to symbolizing a certain type of relations between human beings into relations between humans and gods. The second important scientific contribution of Godard in “Contempt” is his classification of the types of bonds human beings are prone to establish between themselves and our historical past, and themselves and any work of art they perceive and react on. Here Prokosch personifies the type of perception of the past which is based on our projection into the historical past of our self-aggrandizement (our megalomaniacal need). For him Ancient Greece is a kind of Olympus in comparison with today’s life. This is, essentially, a conservative position based on authoritarian/totalitarian behavioral habits including the proneness for religious or secular cult of ancestors. The second position is represented by Lang who tends to “objectively” study the human past without the need for any identification with it. This position is that of liberal scholars – it’s the accumulation of a kind of an archival knowledge about the past without any worshipful or critical emotions. The third position is represented by Paul who sees in people of the previous epochs our existential brothers. He learns from the past and from the art and understood that people who lived before us made their own attempts to resolve their problems with gods as idealized models (theologized, from Olympus, or living on the Olympus of the tops of the social hierarchy), as we today trying to with the human gods of our times. Existential identification with our ancient ancestors is simultaneously brotherly and critical. The same three positions – projection of self-aggrandizement (or its negative reflection – the dismissal: “I love-I hate” approach), “objective” position of “neutral/truthful” representation, and existential identification Godard discerns in our relations with works of art.
“Contempt” occupies not only a unique place in history of cinema and Western culture in general, but a distinguished place of an exemplary work of art.
Please, visit: www.actingoutpolitics.com to read an essay about the film (with analysis of stills from it) – “Psychology of Human Obsession with Super-human (Human Need for Association with Gods as a Result of Problems in Relations between People)”.
I have been to most of the markets in the area and we are truly lucky to have so many choices.
The amount of effort and cooperation between vendors and the managers to create these shopping options, can often go unnoticed by the customers that spend their Saturday mornings leisurely strolling the many venues. I am particularly impressed with the Wake Forest Farmers' Market because this group puts on their show with no corporate sponsors or municipal funding of any kind. It's just a 'organic' community of farmers, bakers, craft persons and musicians who team up and bang out a marketing experience that I find truly enjoyable each time I go. From the lively conversations between the vendors themselves and the often fascinating discourse that takes place when a patron asks a question about something that caught their eye.
Though sometimes a little rough around the edges and not as polished as some others in their peer group, the Wake Forest Farmers' Market stands alone in when it comes to my favorite way to start my Saturdays.
Thank you Byron. He meant a lot to all of us at RLT.
Very sad. Haskell was a remarkable person, and a very great many people mourn his passing.
Rest well, dear mentor.
don't worry Zack, we'll be back!
Let us hope that Proudly Unaffiliated stays Unaffiliated. I would stand up for his right to speak his opinion, just as I would for others.....But perhaps this "Unaffiliated" should read his (her) comments while looking in a full length mirror. That the place where they will be most respected. My prayers to you
Bait? Really, Proudly? You must mean that beating upside the head that the Republicans have administered to our state. Now it's true, some people -- including, yes, some black people -- aren't taking their lumps lying down, and some are even resorting to nonviolent civil disobedience. This strikes me as preferable to the alternatives of giving in or (literally) fighting back.
But protest is just one tact of several that must be used to, as you say, get us out of this one. I have some others in mind and will be writing about them over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
That remains to be seen. My understanding is that Rutkiewicz finally arrived in Cary this weekend (5/12). I know Clarke is high on his arrival. However, James and Hamilton have been an effective pairing in the back. That said, with James' injury issues and Hamilton's aggressive demeanor, the RailHawks can't have enough depth at CB.
The Dems took the bait, partly you did not have a choice, partly, as with letting Barber become the most active and vocal opposition leader, you swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker. With more minority House reps and Senators in the General Assembly in living memory, then add Barber, the face of the Dem party is black now. Not white, not reasonable, not gay, not even all that moral or intelligent or articulate. Think Mel Watt. As this continues, the Blue Dog Dems (the ones you left off your leftist coalition list) will slowly but surely be pushed out. The Blue Dogs are necessary to achieve a Dem majority and they are disappearing. You may think you are of the 99% but at the ballot box you will be the 49%.
Yes, the Rs set the stage for the electorate to polarize their electoral choice and you Progs have made it easier. Blame the Rs if you want but all they did was set the stage and let you do the damage to yourselves. They knew you couldn't help it.
What is next? Real tax reduction and reform from the Rs, a terrific body blow that defunds the left, while you guys continue boilerplate Monday protests. Who do you think wins that one, even with a Prog-sympathetic media? Oh, and let us not forget the continuing Dems scandals which englishes the game against you, too.
Write an article telling us how you get out of this one. You look snookered to me.
I can't explain the influence George Jones, like George Strait and other Great Country singers had on my life. I would like to say that George Jones is uniquivically one of the best, and nobody who is a REAL COUNTRY FAN would never even think of any of his stumbles because everyone has gone through their own and George got through his hard times, smelling like a rose. I am going to miss you, Sir...FOREVER!!!!
Not just tax revenue, but questions like which state has jurisdiction if a crime is committed, etc.
Love this. So well said!!!
I saw The Drowsy Caperone on Tuesday and loved it so much that I went back to see it again on Wednesday. Kudos to Clay, Beth and everyone involved in this wonderful production.
Regarding: A Pint for Oscar
Dear Bill Kirk,
I’m not surprised to read that you remember the night you got your Oscar. Most people do. I always bring it along when I screen a film or give a presentation to share it with the audience. Hundreds of thousands of people have held it all over the world. I suspect we were returning from a screening at UNC or Duke the night we stopped in at Spanky’s.
I have a few comments and corrections I hope you will welcome. For starters, the bronze plaque which is attached to the Oscar is screwed on, not glued on.
Of the trio of women you met, only I was one of the “winners”. The other “winner” is David Kasper, though I believe the biggest winners are the American public and the people of Panama.
Let me clarify what the film is about. The Panama Deception reveals the untold story of the 1989 US invasion of Panama, the events which led to it, the excessive force used, the enormity of the death and destruction and the devastating aftermath. It sheds light on the true motivation for the invasion and explains how and why the mainstream media collaborated with the US government to censor information and deceive the public. It is a poignant and alarming reflection of the government deception, media misinformation, war for profit and ideological fanaticism that eerily repeats itself today.
I’m not sure what you meant by “left-wing radical filmmakers”. Speaking truth to power is surely radical. Media, including The NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, and other influential papers initially supported the war. In the end they printed praises for our film’s ability to ‘deal with the explanations for the military intervention singly and devastatingly.’ What is radical is that they eventually acknowledged that they had behaved as propagandists for the government, a policy that continues today.
By the way, it used to cost $300 to return each Oscar to The Academy en-route to R.S. Owens foundry in Chicago to have the Oscar repaired and re-gilded, which we have done twice with each of our Oscars. The Academy told me today it would be $1,500, not counting repairs (Some people drop it), which means I may never be able to spiff it up again. How sad. I like to let people hold it, but I also like for them to hold something that still resembles an Oscar
I hope you come and introduce yourself this Mothers Day, May 12th between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at The Station in Carrboro, where the Oscar will be meeting and greeting along with David and I at the Big Boss Brewing Company’s Elderberry Cask Party. Donations will go to Empowerment Project and Old Oak Homestead. Bring your camera. I’ll buy you a drink.
The Panama Deception
Our restaurant reviews are intentionally focused on highly anticipated, newly opened locations, as suggested by the column name: First Bite. As there are roughly 2,000+ restaurants in the Triangle area, this is helpful in limiting the scope. If the experience is overall unsatisfactory, we may return six months later for a second review.
What I get for doing this on my cell phone...
the website can be accessed at...
For a FLICKR tour of my life over the last 8 years visit....
Moving to Minneapolis in June.......come by on Third Friday and say hello/goodbye.
You can see more of my work at
That information is not online but came from the Department of Public Safety.
Indy Week • 302 E. Pettigrew St., Suite 300, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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