Godard’s Contempt (one of my favorite films ever) was shot at Casa Malaparte, an icon of Italy’s modernist architecture, and home of Curzio Malaparte (1898-1957), the Italian writer who designed the building. Isolated on the cliffs of Capri overlooking the Bay of Salerno, it’s fascinating and enchanting in its design, simultaneously there’s a palpable loneliness to it, isolated on the severe rock it is rooted to. I was blissed out when I had the opportunity to sail lazily underneath it in the waters surrounding Capri.
“Today I live on an island, in a harsh, melancholy, and severe house which I have built alone, lonesome on a cliff hanging over the sea: a house which is the ghost, the secret image of the jail. The image of my nostalgia.”
The location of a pivotal scene in Contempt–here the architecture reflects the austerity of the conflict in the film. Even Godard wrote of the place: “Too much sea, too much sky, for such a small island, and such a restless soul.”
Here are some other stills from Contempt: