The marital bed can be a place for emotional and physical (bodily) equality in love. But, it can also be, as it’s depicted at the beginning of the film, a place of worship for one and self-aggrandizement for the other, when one is, as if, the altar in flesh while the other – a pilgrim of the adored/worshiped one. This first, “marital” scene in the film provides the first contours of its main topic: relationship between gods and human beings (people who unconsciously play gods, and people who adore and admire them). According to Godard, people in intimate or social situations reproduce (without being conscious) human, god archetype (between human humans and human gods). Those who have a tendency to be involved with their unconscious image of gods (human humans) tend to project these images into another people (to confirm their megalomaniacal regression, by making them, as if, god-like figures). Human gods need not only to be admired – they’re dependent on their admirers, need their admiration. Human humans emotionally need to worship human gods, while human gods ontologically feed on this as a kind of ambrosia.

Camille is very happy with Paul especially during their long lazy mornings when their marital bed has become the center of the universe – a place like that of a shrine for pious worship (of Camille by Paul) without end.

Paul’s love for his wife is hooked on glamour of Camille’s physical beauty. If in the previous shot the director concentrated on their love as a tender, delicate worship, in this shot Camille is shown as not only having been attended, but has appropriated, handled this style of being worshiped with a delight of its own.

When Paul (Michel Piccoli), in order to dissolve the ephemeral tense situation suggests to Camille (Brigitte Bardot) to go ahead with Prokosch-the overpowerful movie-producer (Jack Palance) in his luxurious car, and he’ll take a taxi and join them very soon, that’s when she started to feel that Paul “doesn’t love her”. In this moment she expresses her “goddess” essence – she feels existing only when she is the object of admiring and jealously alert attention. She is not a “thing” to be put into the car of a wealthy man.

Camille feels ignored, abandoned and “betrayed” by Paul who didn’t play the jealous and “hurt” husband according to archaic scenario by which we humans have lived for millennia.

Camille sees her husband, as if, for the first time – as indifferent towards her and “cowardly and servile” with Prokosch as a man of a higher social standing. She feels that Paul is ready to give her to the producer for the sake of his career. She became cosmically infuriated, as only goddesses can be.

Camille has become, as if, blind and yearning to see again – she feeling isolated from the warmth and passion of human worshipful adulation is searching for ontological anchor. But without human idolatrous dedication (in which she now, after Paul’s “betrayal”, is radically disappointed – human men are too weak for serious dedication) she is doomed to wander without a psychological home. May be, she already dreams to be found by the person of a godly glory which she blindly imitates herself? May be, she will meet just another human god.

While looking for Camille around Prokosch’s villa Paul “by chance” sees her and mighty producer in an obviously kissing situation – Paul is visually reduced to be what traditional men always were: idolatrous spectators of gods’ play. But, can it be that now Paul is watching his own play (with gods as protagonists)?

That’s how a window becomes for humans a window to the heaven that is instantly transformed into human hell. But even gods can make mistakes when, as Camille who is angry at Paul – they forgetting that humans greedily need them and that they exist for the sake of being seen and loved by humans. Then gods get the mistaken idea that they’re able to love each other (without humans). And then, according to Godard, they “lose their faces” (as we see it in this shot). For human gods a kiss can be more dangerous than Apollo’s arrow or Zeus’s anger.

Without human audience and human overzealous dedication, human gods are in immortal danger – they don’t know what to do with one another. Paul (Michel Piccoli) has lost his wife (Brigitte Bardot), but will he be able to live without gods – without their power, wealth, glamour and ideal (idealized) image for human identification? Will we be able? Not likely, as soon as we’re bombarded in the mass-cultural media by the (artificially) glamorous images of strength, beauty and wealth, images fixating us on our narcissistic worshipful emotions.

Posted a review on July 8, 2014 – “Contempt/Le mepris” (1963) by Jean-Luc Godard by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on April 27, 2013 – Jean-Luc Godard’s “Contempt/Le mepris” (1964) – Psychology Of Human Obsession With Super-human by Acting-Out Politics