Tuesday, October 26, 2010



Flourishing minds were at work during the filming of Contempt / Le Mepris (1963) — the French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard, his cameraman Raoul Coutard, actors Michel Piccoli, Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, and an angel on my shoulder visitation by German director Fritz Lang, who plays a director in a film about a film about theater about an odyssey. It is probably Godard's most commercially successful film, loosely based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, with black magic ingredients injected by Godard. In this sequence shown we are located around Casa Malaparte — the home creation on the island of Capri by the Italian author Curzio Malaparte. He fired his architect and built this rock nest on rock with the stonemason Adolfo Amitrano. It's situated 32 meters above the sea overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. Its wholeness with nature reminded the author of his youth in Tuscany. Things got done by Malaparte, even during a world war (2) and maybe because of it. If lung cancer hadn't cut him short just shy of age 60, one of his dreams was to bicycle across America.

Curzio Malaparte with Zita

Photo courtesy Casa Malaparte archive