Sunday, 7 June 2009

Movie Of The Week #1:

Vivre Sa Vie

Directed by Jean Luc Godard

Nana works in a record shop but dreams of being an actress. Having split up with her husband, she drifts into the life of a Parisian prostitute. Her world is a mixture of torment and joy as she struggles to make something of her life. In the end, she finds that it is not her life to live after all....

In detail

One of the most significant films of the French New Wave, Vivre sa vie is obviously Jean-Luc Godard at his best. The approach used in this film is quite different to his earlier films. Here, we have twelve tableaux – distinct episodes which illustrate the unfolding life of the tragic Nana. It is an approach which works well, not only for its novelty value but because it allows Godard to adopt a very different mood and style for each part of the film. As a result, every scene has a surprising personal depth and impact, improved by some ingenious photography and often profound dialogue.

Nana is played by the delightful Anna Karina, Godard’s wife at the time. The director and his subject work very well together. Nana is a beautifully inspired creation, like an artist’s portrait of his beloved wife (an analogy which Godard uses very powerfully in one segment of the film).

The slightly off the wall humour, the unrefined editing, the surprising and shocking ending – all the traits that marked out a New Wave film are here in force. But above that, Vivre sa vie has a poetic fluence and easily understood expressions that make this a truly memorable and worthy film.

Anna Karina dancing in Godard's "Vivre Sa Vie"

...and Crystal Castles!

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