A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
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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 <email@example.com>
Officially translated as "My Life to Live", but literally (preferably?) "To Live Her Life." Shop girl (Anna Karina) turns to prostitution, but "gives her body to keep her soul." New Wave asceticism. Twelve tableaux, each individually titled. Analytic detachment that still breathes in the moment, true to time, and is one with the world.
Isn't' it sad? Even the purist Pacific Film Archive could find all the original uncut material only in a badly battered 16 mm print. (Wouldn't there be a zillion pristine 35 mm prints available if Julia Roberts or Bruce Willis were in it though?)
The usual Godard potpourri: homage to American gangster flicks (which, in my opinion, only detracts), existentialist digressions, written word headings, a crew of roustabout knockabout outcasts. Even though less than his best, it's far far better than anything above.
Godard opens the aperture to capture the world through his lens in all its flawed beauty and freshness. Karina is gorgeous, spontaneous, alive. The film hardly ever misses the heartbeat of now, present time, with all its rawness and unfolding surprises. The story hardly matters; I could watch Godard depict garbage being collected, anything. There is the feel, the eye, the instinct. Freedom. It's like childhood play, like Jimmy Reed, primitive, honest.
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