IMDb > Vivre Sa Vie (1962)
Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux
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Vivre Sa Vie (1962) More at IMDbPro »Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (original title)

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Vivre Sa Vie -- Criterion Collection trailer

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   15,491 votes »
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Up 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Vivre Sa Vie on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 September 1962 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(91 articles)
Blu-ray Review: 'Vivre Sa Vie'
 (From CineVue. 25 August 2015, 1:49 PM, PDT)

Mister Fincher and Monsieur Dreyer
 (From MUBI. 27 July 2015, 4:44 AM, PDT)

Interview with ‘Material’ Writer Ales Kot
 (From SoundOnSight. 8 June 2015, 8:54 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Godard classic See more (47 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anna Karina ... Nana Kleinfrankenheim
Sady Rebbot ... Raoul (as Saddy Rebbot)
André S. Labarthe ... Paul
Guylaine Schlumberger ... Yvette (as G. Schlumberger)
Gérard Hoffman ... Le chef

Monique Messine ... Elisabeth
Paul Pavel ... Journaliste
Dimitri Dineff ... Dimitri
Peter Kassovitz ... Le jeune homme
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
Jack Florency ... L'homme dans le cinéma
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alfred Adam ... (uncredited)
Mario Botti ... L'italien (uncredited)
Gisèle Braunberger ... Concierge (uncredited)
Jean Ferrat ... Homme près du Jukebox (uncredited)

Jean-Luc Godard ... Voix de l'amant lisant Poe (voice) (uncredited)
Jean-Paul Savignac ... Soldat (uncredited)
László Szabó ... Homme blessé (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean-Luc Godard 
 
Writing credits
Marcel Sacotte (book "Où en est la prostitution")

Jean-Luc Godard (story)

Jean-Luc Godard 

Marcel Sacotte (additional narrative)

Produced by
Pierre Braunberger .... producer (as P. Braunberger)
 
Original Music by
Michel Legrand 
 
Cinematography by
Raoul Coutard 
 
Film Editing by
Jean-Luc Godard 
Agnès Guillemot 
 
Costume Design by
Christiane Fageol 
 
Makeup Department
Alexandre .... hair stylist designer
Simone Knapp .... hair stylist
Jacky Reynal .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Jean-François Adam .... unit manager (as Jean F. Adam)
Roger Fleytoux .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jean-Paul Savignac .... second assistant director (as J. Paul Savignac)
Bernard Toublanc-Michel .... first assistant director
 
Sound Department
Lila Lakshmanan .... sound editor
Jacques Maumont .... sound mixer
Jean Philippe .... boom operator
Guy Villette .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Jean Fouchet .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Claude Beausoleil .... assistant camera
Charles L. Bitsch .... camera operator (as Charles Bitsch)
Fernand Coquet .... electrician (as Coquet Frères)
François Coquet .... electrician (as Coquet Frères)
Pierre Durin .... dolly grip
Bernard Largemain .... key grip
 
Transportation Department
Claude Laporte .... driver
 
Other crew
Georges Cravenne .... unit publicist
Ida Fassio .... production secretary
Marilù Parolini .... reportage (as M.L. Parolini)
Suzanne Schiffman .... script girl
Ursule Monlinaro .... title designer (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux" - France (original title)
"My Life to Live" - USA
See more »
Runtime:
80 min | Germany:83 min (restored integral version) | Portugal:83 min | UK:83 min | USA:85 min | West Germany:79 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Finland:(Banned) (original rating) | Finland:K-16 (re-rating) | Germany:12 (re-rating) | Italy:VM18 | Portugal:M/18 | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | UK:X (original rating) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:18 (w) (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Jean Ferrat plays a cameo as a man playing his own song, 'Ma môme', on the jukebox.See more »
Quotes:
Nana:Words should express just what one wants to say.See more »
Movie Connections:
References On the Double (1961)See more »
Soundtrack:
Ma mômeSee more »

FAQ

What does the title mean?
See more »
15 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Godard classic, 16 April 2009
Author: Chris_Docker from United Kingdom

As the film opens Paul and Nana are going through a break-up. Each is filmed with their back to the camera. As Nana says she wants to die, it makes me think that, when we turn our back on the most significant person in our life, it can be like turning our backs on life itself. Such a big part of our identity is bound up with them that there seems nothing left. It is as if we have failed to heed the advice of Montaigne, quoted at the end of the opening credits: "Lend yourself to others and give yourself to yourself." Of course, Godard may not be intending for me to have such thoughts. For much of the film I get the distinct impression that he does not want me to interpret anything as anything, but just to accept it as it is. But the film, within a few minutes, has sparked off some interesting and worthwhile thought in me and I like this. It seems to be what art should do. And that it should do it simply by existing, not by trying to convey some message of its own.

For much of the film that follows, part of my mind is taken up with enjoying the crisp black and white photography. The streets of Paris, and other simple but finely observed detail. The lustre of Anna Karina's hair – she plays Nana – is as enchanting as if I were talking to her. And maybe talking about nothing very much in particular so that my mind could wander to such things. The quality of the print is sufficient to make out individual hairs – or hairline cracks in walls and furniture.

The overall effect – taken with some other devices that I only slowly become aware of – is to give a documentary-like feel to what the camera is seeing. Nana splits from Paul and drifts into prostitution. It happens without any big dramatics. She has been working in a record store, is having trouble paying her back rent, and, after a few other minor incidents, we see her with her first client. The look of repressed emotion on her face is one of the most stark and memorable images in the film. A bit like Edvard Munch's painting, The Scream. But sublimated into what is portrayed as a very everyday setting.

Later, in a rapid monotone, Nana's pimp even gives us a run-down of prices, laws, regulations and practices. It is almost the Brechtian splitting of the film into twelve chapters (each with long titles telling us what is about to happen), and Godard's increasingly frequent experiments that separate the sound from the image, that remind us this is fiction, not docu-drama.

For instance, towards the end and when Nana is with a young man she rather likes (and the attraction seems mutual, maybe love), their conversation is not heard by us but only seen on the screen as subtitles. They are communicating soundlessly perhaps, as lovers do.

There is a long scene where she discusses the meaning of language with an old man, a philosopher (played by Godard's former philosophy teacher). Although this is outwardly quite deep, I did not find the arguments nearly as profound or rigorous as in Godard's later film, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her. Prostitution is not used here, as it is in 2 or 3 things, as a political metaphor. Susan Sontag, in her aptly titled essays, Against Interpretation, suggests that it is, "the most radical metaphor for the separating out of the elements of a life – as a testing ground, a crucible for the study of what is essential and what is superfluous in a life." She sees Nana as having divested herself of her old identity and taken on her new identity – that of a prostitute.

In the version I watched, quite a few lines were omitted from the English subtitling, so my smattering of French came in useful. But I needed some of the subtler French puns on the 'life' and 'chickens' pointed out to me.

As the film came to its not untypically Godard-like abrupt ending, I wondered for a minute if it was as great as some people often claim. The celebrated critic Roger Ebert, for instance, singles it out as one of the great movies of all time. My mind wandered to such movies as Last Year at Marienbad, and Jules and Jim, both made about the same time and which have left quite a deep impression on me. But only for a minute.

Vivre Sa Vie is different, yet again, to any other work by Godard. But it is deceptively unassuming, and a remarkably solid piece of work for all its sense of transience (Godard compared cinema to a train rather than the station). It can also be seen as a love letter from Godard to his wife, the beautifully photographed Anna Karina.

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List your Top 5 Godard Films pdw96
Is Nana selfish? ericrahn
Question to Godard Enthusiasts about one Scene jmiller1918
Did she have a child? snookafly2000
possibly Godard's best film NiceGuyEddie75
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