It’s no secret to those who’ve seen Contempt — well, first, to those who haven’t seen Contempt: close your computer, watch the film, and then keep reading — that Jean-Luc Godard and Fritz Lang have something of a personal history. The former’s immense cinephilia is as uncontainable as ever in those wise, winking scenes where a forefather is willing to play both himself and something of a scripted caricature — a loving portrait that, in its application, cuts right to one of the film’s many, many thematic concerns.
Despite my own acquaintance with that film, I was surprised to come across a one-hour interview Godard had conducted with Lang, the title of which — Le dinosaure et le bébé — helps set an inquisitive tone that runs throughout. Not that it’s all one-sided: many questions directed at the German Expressionist titan reveal obsessions of the French New Wave icon, answers helping reflect on and enlighten understanding of a filmmaker only partway through one of several career stages. For this, it’s an indelible piece of film history; as a conversation between two men, what we have embedded makes for good entertainment, too.
Watch the interview below (and make sure to click Closed Captioning to get subtitles):
Did you enjoy the discussion between Lang and Godard? What’s your favorite film from either?