8.1/10
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My Life to Live (1962)

Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 20 September 1962 (France)
Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (story) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sady Rebbot ...
Raoul (as Saddy Rebbot)
André S. Labarthe ...
Paul
Guylaine Schlumberger ...
Yvette (as G. Schlumberger)
Gérard Hoffman ...
Le chef
...
Elisabeth
Paul Pavel ...
Journaliste
Dimitri Dineff ...
Dimitri
Peter Kassovitz ...
Jeune homme (as Peter Kassowitz)
Eric Schlumberger ...
Luigi (as E. Schlumberger)
Brice Parain ...
Le philosophe
Henri Attal ...
Arthur (as Henri Atal)
Gilles Quéant ...
Premier client
Odile Geoffroy ...
La serveuse de café
Marcel Charton ...
L'agent de police
Edit

Storyline

This film explores a Parisian woman's descent into prostitution. The movie is comprised of a series of 12 "tableaux"-- scenes which are basically unconnected episodes, each presented with a worded introduction. Written by Alan Katz <katz@panther.middlebury.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The many faces of a woman trying to find herself in a world of men.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1962 (France)  »

Also Known As:

My Life to Live  »

Box Office

Budget:

$64,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored integral)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Nana: Why must one always talk? Often one shouldn't talk, but live in silence.
See more »

Connections

References The Hustler (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Ma môme
(uncredited)
Written by Jean Ferrat and Pierre Frachet
Sung by Jean Ferrat
Conducted by Alain Goraguer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
pinball machines
22 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Birds are creatures with an outside, and an inside. When you remove the outside, you see the inside. When you remove the inside, you see the soul." "Vivre Sa Vie" is an incredibly desultory film about a confused girl (Nana) with an existential crisis; namely, the task of reconciling her decision to become a prostitute with her belief in a free will. As the repercussions of the "painting" she has rendered gradually spiral out of control, Nana becomes progressively more alienated from and confused about her life. This culminates in a chilling scene in a diner, where she lays her soul bare before a well-meaning philosopher, who responds to her desperate queries about the gulf between words and emotions with more words. Erudite words that she cannot possibly understand.

Godard probes his favorite existential motifs with wonderful sensitivity here. When Miss Karina espouses her belief that a "plate is a plate" and a "life is a life", the overwhelming sadness in her eyes betrays the torment of a woman who feels torn from her self by circumstance. Nana turns to prostitution after breaking with her lover, failing to secure a spot in the movies, and being evicted from her flat. Watching her struggle to exact some control over a world that is clearly much bigger than her designs is emotionally draining.

As usual with Godard, the cinematography is lush and his cinema eye is constantly roving. Before Nana's first trick, the camera cuts from Karina's panicked eyes, to a bar of soap. It is a relatively simple, yet effective, symbol that defines a relatively simple, yet affecting film.


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