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The subject of Godard's Contempt is the making of a film; the protagonists include a screenwriter (Michel Piccoli), a producer (Jack Palance), a director (Fritz Lang as himself), and an assistant director (Godard). The self-reflective framework of plot, character, and casting expresses Godard's ambivalent attitudes towards his metier - a simultaneous indictment of cinema's falsity and a recognition of the illusion which is its essence.

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