In the apartment scene, Paul’s wearing a hat and bath robe, looking oddly similar to Guido in the “Revolt of the Harem” fantasy. I figure it’s an ironic comentary on Godard’spart; like Guido, Paul’s grasp on his wife is weakenng. (But he was never that assertive to begin with.)
I think a conscious reference would be unlikely, considering how both films were released in the same year (8 1/2 8 months before Contempt) thus Godard probably had not seen Fellini’s film before he had finished Contempt.
Then again, Godard did work very fast.
I agree: very unlikely, but possible I suppose.
Paul’s hat is a reference to Dean Martin in Some Came Running.
Jerry J. is correct. There’s even a line of dialogue in LE MEPRIS about how Paul wears his hat even in the bathtub “like Dean Martin in SOME CAME RUNNING.”
That doesn’t mean that Godard wasn’t also “sampling” 8 1/2 too, but, like the others above, I doubt it.
Paul wears the hat in reference to Dean Martin in Some Came Running, but that doesn’t mean such a reference is necessarily what Godard was aiming at exclusively. Paul’s admission of this homage is certainly telling about Paul’s character but, later in the scene when worn with the robe, Godard could likely have been aiming at different connotations. As for feasibility, Godard’s previous film, The Carabineers, had not even been released at the time 8½ was. Thus, it is logical to assume Godard had not even begun production on Contempt by the time 8½ was sprung upon the international film scene to wild acclaim.
I’m not arguing that Godard does intentionally reference 8½, btw, simply trying to show that it was possible. As it goes, I assume that Godard was aiming at similar ends by having Paul dressed like this. To me, both Guido and Paul’s attire looks like that of a figure of affluence or authority in past times. What this means? A man with crumbling power over what he lays claim to (in Paul’s case, Camille – in Guido’s case, any relation with a woman). It also plays into the use of The Odyssey in Contempt. A lot of the set decoration (and spoken dialogue, for that matter) allude to a strong and obvious parallel between interpretation of that poem and interpretation of what we are seeing on screen. Dressing Paul in cloth, akin to the wear of the Greeks, leads the audience to this. Interesting to note that in Guido’s case, the attire retains the element of power/authority, whereas in Godard’s film it alludes to the fact that the relationship will crumble – just like Oedipus or Ulysses, Paul too is a figure on which fate will, and must, act.
That’s my interpretation, it’s probably wrong, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.