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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Contempt" or "Il Disprezzo" or "Die Verachtung" or "Il Desprecio" )

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/godard.htm
France / Italy 1963

I can remember how puzzled Iwas by this gorgeous film as an undergraduate. Though it was Godard's sixth feature, it was only the third to be released in the United States, preceded by Breathless in 1961 and by Vivre sa vie in 1963. The first of these was a cheap American-style thriller in black and white, the second a cheap French-style art film in black and white; Contempt, in glorious Technicolor and 'Scope, clearly didn't belong to either category. A big international coproduction (starring Brigitte Bardot and Jack Palance) that even played in my hometown in Alabama, it virtually began with a scene in which Bardot was stretched out nude on a bed beside a fully clothed, then-unknown Michel Piccoli while they engaged in a curious romantic dialogue about how much he loved her various parts; a seemingly unmotivated use of red and blue filters punctuated the full-color shots. Coproduced by the vulgar American showman Joseph E. Levine--best known at the time for his distribution of Italian-made Hercules movies with Steve Reeves and his subsequent involvement with Federico Fellini--Contempt could only seem the grotesque marriage of crass exploitation and high art. (In fact, all the nude shots of Bardot were ordered by Levine after Godard considered the film done; acceding to the producer's request as literally as possible, he even clarified the commodification process in the opening evaluation of Bardot's body.)

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's review at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 29th, 1963

Reviews    More Reviews      DVD Reviews

Comparison:

The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B Blu-ray vs. Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman and Pavel Borodin for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - THIRD

3) Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

Optimum Edition in UK:

Studio Canal in France:

Distribution

The Criterion Collection (US)

Region 0 - NTSC

Momentum Pictures (UK)
Region 2 - PAL
Kinowelt (Germany)
Region A + B -
Blu-ray
Lionsgate
Region A + B -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:43:20 1:38:29 (4% PAL speedup) 1:43:15.416 1:43:15.416
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.31 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.29 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P / 24 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,143,428,438 bytes

Feature: 29,169,106,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.58 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P / 24 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,143,428,457 bytes

Feature: 29,169,106,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.58 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

The Criterion Collection (US)

 

Bitrate:

 

Momentum Pictures (UK)

 

Bitrate:

 

Kinowelt Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

 

Lionsgate Blu-ray

 

Audio French, English Dolby Digital 1.0

French, English, German Dolby Digital 1.0

DTS-HD Master Audio English 857 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 857 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 933 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 933 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 844 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 844 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 1015 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1015 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 857 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 857 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 933 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 933 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 844 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 844 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 1015 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1015 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, none English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, none English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, none English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: The Criterion Collection (US)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• New high-definition digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and enhanced for widescreen televisions
• Audio commentary by film scholar Robert Stam
• The Dinosaur and the Baby (1967): a conversation between Jean-Luc Godard and Fritz Lang (61 minutes)
• 2 documentaries: Bardot et Godard (8 mins) and Paparazzi (22 mins)
• Jean-Luc Godard interview excerpt (1964)
• A new video interview with legendary cinematographer Raoul Coutard
• Original theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: December 10, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Momentum Pictures (UK)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Regions 2, 8
• 'Paparazzi' Documentary (21 mins)
• 'Bardot & Godard' Documentary (8 mins)
• Original theatrical trailer

 

DVD Release Date: January 26th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 21

Release Information:
Studio: Kinowelt (Germany)

 

1080P / 24 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,143,428,438 bytes

Feature: 29,169,106,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.58 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Introduction - British writer Colin McCabe (5:31)
• Once Upon A Time There Was...Contempt (52:28)
• Contempt...Tenderly (31:31 in French with English subtitles)
• le dinosaure et le bebe (The Dinosaur and the Baby) - (1:11:57 in SD)
• Conversation with Fritz Lang (14:26 in SD)
• Trailer

• 20-page liner notes booklet with photos and essay by Ginette Vicendeau

Blu-ray Release Date: September 18th, 2009
Custom Blu-ray package

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Lionsgate

 

1080P / 24 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,143,428,457 bytes

Feature: 29,169,106,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.58 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Introduction - British writer Colin McCabe (5:31)
• Once Upon A Time There Was...Contempt (52:28)
• Contempt...Tenderly (31:31 in French with English subtitles)
• le dinosaure et le bebe (The Dinosaur and the Baby) - (1:11:57 in SD)
• Conversation with Fritz Lang (14:26 in SD)
• Trailer

• 20-page liner notes booklet with photos and essay by Ginette Vicendeau

Blu-ray Release Date: February 16th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray
case with cardboard slipcase

Chapters 12

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Lionsgate - Studio Canal Collection - Region A + B Blu-ray - February 2010': unlike RAN, the Lionsgate/Maple Films - North American Studio Canal Collections edition is exactly the same with no omissions for supplements and, the exact same feature file size, bitrate and time (down to the 1/1000 of second).

The only digital difference would be the Lionsgate logo that runs for a few seconds prior to the Studio Canal Collections logo and the menu (hence the slight difference in disc file size - 19 bytes larger). Both start with the large list of countries to choose from and my Momitsu tells me they are both region A + B.

Extras are duplicated as is the enclosed liner notes booklet. It also differs in that the case is a standard one with a slip case as opposed to the custom one in Europe.

I think it looks and sounds great but some who are more discerning may, possibly, be expecting more. This is probably how good the best source can supply at the present time. Still recommended!

 Gary W Tooze

ADDITION: Kinowelt - Studio Canal Collection - Region A + B Blu-ray - November 09: Firstly I have both the Optimum and the Kinowelt editions and I can't find much difference so far aside from packaging language. They have the same subtitle and audio options - and the same video transfer size. Both are coded for regions A + B - as we presume the recently released French Studio Canal editions are.

Each stem from the 'Studio Canal Collection' and are now sold via Blu-ray with the legal rights - released by Kinowelt in Germany, Optimum in the UK, and Studio Canal in France. The disc initially allows you to choose from a list of countries including both Australia or the USA.

The 1080P image produces a slightly lighter palette than the DVDs - however detail takes a significant leap forward and in motion these visuals are just gorgeous. There is a tad more information in the frames and skin tones look more true - there is, obviously, less artifacts and more visible, and even, grain. I can't image Contempt looking much better. It has some striking and impressive scenes.

NOTE: Michael in email tells us: "Just one small addition to your Contempt review: It certainly looks better than ever although not that much better like Belle de jour or Deer Hunter of the Kinowelt/Studio Canal-Edition. But in the scene where Piccoli ist standing in front of the white wall while Bardot is on the phone behind the door, the picture is trembling in a way the DVD did not, plus you can see damages of the film stock on the white wall that were not that prominent on DVD - but that's what you get with high definition, even the faults look sharper than ever. but that is no doubt just a minor complaint, leaving room for another restored, definitive or whatever edition which would then be my sixth." (Thanks Michael!)

Audio offers 4 decent DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel tracks in a choice of English, French, Spanish or German. Everything is very clean and crisp if not abundantly dynamic but the original French track is notably superior to the DVDs. There are nine different language optional subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being coded for Blu-ray regions A + B.

Extras are very good as well - starting with a 5 1/2 minute introduction by British writer Colin McCabe and almost three hours of featurette and documentary supplements. le dinosaure et le bebe (The Dinosaur and the Baby) is in the Criterion package. It is an eight part, hour-long, discussion between Fritz Lang and Jean-Luc Godard referencing M and Contempt. This is in French and has optional English subtitles (as do the other extras). Once Upon A Time There Was...Contempt runs close to an hour and is directed by Antoine de Gaudemar. It really dissects the making of Contempt from a historical standpoint and is wonderfully informative. Contempt...Tenderly is a bit longer than 1/2 hour and tends to focus more on Godard himself. We get a briefer conversation with Fritz Lang for 15-minutes (German with Eng. subs) and a trailer for the film.

With the knowledge that these Studio Canal packages are essentially the exact same - most people will defer to their least expensive geographic outlet for purchase. However, if you have any suspicions - I'd recommend the Kinowelt. This German distributor is solid and don't cut corners like Optimum in the UK are occasionally caught at. I'd like to support Kinowelt and cover more of their fabulous products in the future.

Contempt is Godard's most famous and expensive film. Studio Canal have produced the definitive way to view it in your home theater and they deserve some massive kudos. It looks and sounds great with plenty of relevant extras -  this is a Blu-ray product that we can easily endorse.

ON THE DVDs: Both DVD transfers have the same level of sharpness that I can tell. Both are HD-sourced. The only real difference that I can see is in the brightness levels; hence altering some of the color schemes. The framing is exact in both, so if I am being forced to guess - I would say the Criterion manipulated their brightness down a notch or two. Often this improves the perception of contrast (black levels), and can bring up sharpness. In capture #5 the walls seem cream-colored in the Momentum release and bright white in the Criterion. I have no way of knowing which is more accurate. This is very tough and you usually can't go wrong buying Criterion.

The Momentum seems a little more vibrant (even beyond the brightness) so I am giving them the slight edge in image quality. I think the yellowish tinge may be intentional or at least on the original print. I am willing to accept that I could be wrong, but that is how I am going. In the end it looks like the best NTSC DVD production competing with original PAL. The Momentum is brighter, but doesn't seem saturated to me. Very tough to be sure indeed. For the film alone, I don't think you'll be disappointed with either version.   

 Gary W Tooze


Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni
Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana

Check out more in "The Library"


DVD Menus

(The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

Blu-ray Extras

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Kinowelt / Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Kinowelt / Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Kinowelt / Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Kinowelt / Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Kinowelt / Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Kinowelt / Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) The Criterion Collection (US) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Momentum Pictures (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Kinowelt / Lionsgate (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Criterion
DVD Box Covers

Optimum Edition in UK:

Studio Canal in France:

Distribution

The Criterion Collection (US)

Region 0 - NTSC

Momentum Pictures (UK)
Region 2 - PAL
Kinowelt (Germany)
Region A + B -
Blu-ray
Lionsgate
Region A + B -
Blu-ray

 




 


 

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Gary Tooze