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The English title of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 moviemaking drama Les Mepris refers to the layers of contempt the characters display, from the blowhard producer (Jack Palance) who disdains, specifically, his director (Fritz Lang), and generally, “art,” to the grasping screenwriter (Michel Piccoli) who undervalues and ultimately demeans his wife (Brigitte Bardot).

Sounds like dour stuff, but Contempt is enormously entertaining and, as is common with Godard, visually gorgeous. (Technicolor! Francscope!) Palance is hilarious, sending up the kind of pompous Hollywood ass he was famous for clashing with; Piccoli’s subtle self-destruction is bracing; and Bardot is heartbreaking.

The half-hour-plus scene in which we see a relationship fall apart is one of the damndest things we’ve ever seen.

Contempt will be screened Thursday through Saturday (Nov. 26-28) at 5:30 PM, and Sunday (Nov. 29) at 3:30 PM at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson). Tickets are $7 general admission, $5 TSL members and students. For more info, call the box office line at 822-8100.

Photo: Kelly Stoltz

Chuck Prophet

More than a decade ago, Chuck Prophet fell three strories, through a skylight and onto the concrete floor of a mechanic’s shop, while trying to impress a girl by breaking back into the apartment he’d locked himself out of—high on crack. It’s just one story from a career that started early in the former Green on Red guitarist’s teenage years, and one that Prophet offers up readily. Through injury, addiction, managerial conflicts, and countless collaborations with notables like Jim Dickinson, Lucinda Williams and Warren Zevon, Prophet has earned his stripes as a genuine rock stalwart.

¡Let Freedom Ring!, marks a new era for the California musician. A “political album for non-political people,” it was recorded in Mexico City at the height of the swine flu epidemic, but draws as much from the artistic rennaissance taking place among that city’s poverty-stricken youth as it does from medical paranoia. If anyone deserves to talk about hope, it’s Prophet, and his latest work has it in spades.

Chuck Prophet plays at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) on Saturday (Nov. 28) at 9 PM. Local favorites Grainbelt open. Call 432-6572 for ticket prices and more info.

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