Criterion Collection: Vivre Sa Vie

( 6 )

Overview

Vivre Sa Vie presents 12 episodes in the life of a young woman who turns to prostitution to pay her rent. Each episode features a theatrical scene preceded by a title that lists the characters in the episode, its location, and a brief summary of the action. As he would throughout his career, director Jean-Luc Godard uses prostitution as a metaphor for both economic life in general and the position of the filmmaker under capitalism. Vivre Sa Vie stars Anna Karina, who was married to Godard at the time. Her ...
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Blu-ray (Special Edition / B&W / Pan & Scan)
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Overview

Vivre Sa Vie presents 12 episodes in the life of a young woman who turns to prostitution to pay her rent. Each episode features a theatrical scene preceded by a title that lists the characters in the episode, its location, and a brief summary of the action. As he would throughout his career, director Jean-Luc Godard uses prostitution as a metaphor for both economic life in general and the position of the filmmaker under capitalism. Vivre Sa Vie stars Anna Karina, who was married to Godard at the time. Her performance was largely improvised as Godard refused to give Karina her lines until just before each scene was shot. In order to maintain the freshness of the performances, Godard rarely made more than one take of each shot. The film is shot in stunning black-and-white by Raoul Coutard. The improvised acting and fragmented story give the viewer the impression of watching a documentary about a woman's life that is also a series of essays about aesthetics and economics. In addition, the film's camera style presents a catalogue of alternatives to conventional shooting strategies.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Wheeler Winston Dixon
This typically brilliant film from Jean-Luc Godard was made during his blazing period of brilliance in the 1960s, when he seemed to make a movie every few months, all daringly original, and all completely different. Here, Godard casts his then-wife, Anna Karina, as a young woman who drifts into prostitution, shooting the entire film on actual locations in Paris, and making Karina's character, Nana Kleinfrankenheim, both real and accessible to the audience. There is Godard's customary philosophical interlude, in which Nana discusses her life with philosopher Brice Parain playing himself in an all-night cafe, and Godard uses very long takes with a pendulum dolly to bring added realism to their encounter. The film is structured in 12 sequences just as Masculin/Feminin, a Godard film made three years after this, has exactly 15 scenes; one of the most affecting involves Nana attending a revival of Carl Th. Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc 1928, in which she identifies with Maria Falconetti as Dreyer's doomed protagonist. Shedding tears of compassion, Nana watches as Joan is adjudged guilty by an all-male court, and sent to her martyrdom -- an apt reference to Nana's own fate within Godard's film. Fittingly, the entire sequence is absolutely silent, as was Dreyer's film. In another remarkable section, as Nana interrogates her pimp on her duties as a prostitute in voice-over, Godard shows us in a series of quick cuts how mundane and shabby Nana's life will be. Godard's spare, observational style is perfectly in place here, and the film ranks as one of his greatest from his first period as an auteur. Vivre Sa Vie is a remarkable film on many levels, and a devastating commentary on the double standards of patriarchal society.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/2010
  • UPC: 715515057011
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Special Edition / B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 202

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anna Karina Nana Kleinfrankenheim
Saddy Rebbot Raoul
André S. Labarthe Paul
Guylaine Schlumberger Yvette
Eric Schlumberger Luigi
Gerard Hoffman Man Who Buys Nana
Brice Parain Himself, The Philosopher
Monique Messine Elizabeth
Henri Attal Arthur
Dimitri Dineff A Youth
Odile Geoffrey Barmaid
Jean-Luc Godard Voice Only
Peter Kassovitz A Young Man
Paul Pavel A Journalist
Gilles Queant A Man
Laszlo Szabo Wounded Man
Technical Credits
Jean-Luc Godard Director, Screenwriter
Pierre Braunberger Producer
Raoul Coutard Cinematographer
Agnès Guillemot Editor
Michel Legrand Score Composer
Jacques Maumont Sound/Sound Designer
Jackie Raynal Makeup
Jackie Reynal Makeup
Bernard Toublanc-Michel Asst. Director
Guy Villette Sound/Sound Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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    Posted October 7, 2010

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