By Bob Westal | January 19, 2002

An existentially estranged couple (Jonathan and Kelly Dees) play “Battleship”…only they do it French! And they do it angrily and, yes, contemptuously, as only the French can. And that’s not all, when one of them scores a “hit” on an opposing boat, they administer increasingly severe physical punishments on each other. First a “hot-hands” style slap, then a real slap, then a punch… When a battleship finally gets sunk, the merde will really hit the mise en scene.
As you may have surmised, “Battleship Contempkin” has nothing whatsoever to do with Sergei Eisenstein’s “Battleship Potemkin” and only a little bit to do with Jean-Luc Godard’s “Contempt.” In fact, there’s not a whole lot to say about this short except that the utterly straight-faced performances and gorgeous black and white video photography nicely captures that uniquely French feeling of ennui so well known to all cineastes – and there’s just something kind of funny about French people. There’s just something funny about saying “B-3” and “C-4” in French.

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