Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1962, 85min, 35mm
With Anna Karina, Sady Rebbot, André S. Labarthe
In French with English subtitles
Vivre sa vie was a turning point for Jean-Luc Godard and remains one of his most dynamic films, combining brilliant visual design with a tragic character study.
It also marks his first of two films with Michel Legrand (the second was Band of Outsiders). The lovely Anna Karina, Godard’s greatest muse, plays Nana, a young Parisian who aspires to be an actress but instead ends up a prostitute, her downward spiral depicted in a series of discrete tableaux of daydreams and dances.
Featuring some of Karina and Godard’s most iconic moments—from her movie theater vigil with The Passion of Joan of Arc to her seductive pool-hall strut—Vivre sa vie is a landmark of the French New Wave that still surprises at every turn. (Synopsis courtesy Janus Films/The Criterion Collection)
Special Jury Prize at Venice Film Festival (1962)
“Vivre sa vie is a landmark of the French New Wave that still surprises at every turn” – Janus Films
“Vivre sa vie saw the most thorough application to the cinema of the alienation effect of Bertolt Brecht’s newly fashionable epic theatre, combining cinematic melodrama and detached social analysis to examine the career of Nana, a beautiful Parisian prostitute” – The Guardian