I love soundtracks. I listen to film scores almost daily and as my last.fm charts show, I never get tired of my favorites. My blog’s name “Cinebeats” is directly tied to my love for films and film soundtracks.
When I heard about the Film Music Blog-a-thon I thought long and hard about the composers that I love and the scores that have left a deep impression on me. I couldn’t decide on one composer or soundtrack to write about, but one particular piece of music kept haunting me and reminding me of the incredible power that a great musical score can have over a film and its audience, and that was composer Georges Delerue’s theme music for Jean-Luc Godard’s film Contempt (a.k.a. Le Mépris, 1963).
Contempt is one of my favorite movies and I can’t think of another film that so perfectly captures that painful moment when two people fall out of love. There are countless romantic movies about couples falling in love, but very few films manage to capture the human anguish and profound sorrow of what it’s like to deeply love another human being and to have that love completely destroyed by one stupid gesture or careless action.
Some might say that Godard uses Georges Delerue’s theme for Contempt excessively within the film and he does. Delerue’s theme music is heard again and again throughout Contempt, but instead of becoming irritating or distracting, Delerue’s beautiful score only adds more layers and depth to Godard’s film as it pushes it onward towards its explosive conclusion.
Is there another piece of film music as perfect and as powerful? I’m not sure that there is and that’s why I couldn’t resist writing about it for the Film Music Blog-a-thon. Delerue’s theme for Contempt completely captivates me every time I hear it and I’m instantly brought back to the film’s complex emotional core and carefully constricted themes.
When I first watched Godard’s Contempt the film completely shattered me. I was a wreck for days after I saw it, but the movie’s incredible beauty also managed to take me to new heights that I’ve never really come down from and I truly believe that’s what a good film score is capable of. Great soundtracks can elevate a film as well as the audience to new unimaginable heights and bring meaning to the mundane.
The theme music for Contempt is part of my Radio Playlist and you can listen to it by scrolling down to Cinebeats Radio and clicking on the song Georges Delerue – Le Mépris featured in the right hand column of my blog. You can also hear it in the film’s trailer which I came across on Youtube.
The soundtrack for Contempt seems to have gone out of print, but you can still find used copies selling at Amazon.