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


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Release Date:
20 September 1962 (France) See more »
Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The cold lens of Godard See more (44 total) »


  (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)
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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 »
80 min | Germany:83 min (restored integral version) | Portugal:83 min | UK:83 min | USA:85 min | West Germany:79 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Rafael Romero (1910-1991) is a noted Spanish flamenco singer. He also appeared as singer, dancer and actor in at least nine films.See more »
Nana:Shouldn't love be the only truth?
The Philosopher:For that, love would always have to be true.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Before Sunrise (1995)See more »
Ma mômeSee more »


What does the title mean?
See more »
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
The cold lens of Godard, 4 March 2014
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

During the 1960's, Jean-Luc Godard made fifteen feature-length pictures that owed themselves to the French New Wave movement, where young, "reckless" filmmakers made audacious attempts to defy the conventions of mainstream French cinema. Godard among many others decided to figuratively illustrate the book of common cinematic conventions and proceed to rip them up before concocting their own rebellious form of filmmaking, which, overall, seemed to want to hit the bases of reality's imperfections, coldness in story and characters, violence, and the physical and metaphorical chaos of modern society.

Some of the above themes are what Godard uses to write and direct Vivre Sa Vie, a thought-provoking and consistently fascinating mood-piece, focusing on a woman by the name of Nana, played by the beautiful Anna Karina. Nana is a young Parisian twentysomething, aimlessly drifting through life after she leaves the safe but relatively unremarkable confines of her homelife, which involved a husband and a child. She's heavily strapped for cash, with her job as a shopgirl providing for what little income she already has, and soon realizes that leading a viable life on so little is just not a reality.

She decides to take up life as a prostitute, which she'll earn better money doing instead of the day-in-and-day-out drudgery of being a shopgirl. She becomes the employee of Raoul (Sady Rebbot), your average pimp who takes advantage of Nana's youngness and gorgeous looks in order to turn a profit.

Throughout the entire film, Godard conducts Vivre Sa Vie with pure, uneasy coldness, staging the picture into twelve separate chapters ("tableaus"). Each chapter, marked by a descriptive title-card, gives insight into Nan's particular stage in life at that moment in time and provides for a neatly-punctual little narrative that Godard smoothly orchestrates.

Vivre Sa Vie ("My Life to Live" in English) seems like a film that would be made in present times because of its documentary-style filmmaking (more formerly known as "cinéma vérité"). More informally, the film bears a slice-of-life realism to it that is just beginning to gain considerable momentum in American cinema and only proves that Godard was ahead of his time, making a film like this in 1962.

With the film's polished and clear videography, Godard strayed away from the hand-held-camera techniques of his earlier films such as Breathless and his final New Wave picture of the 1960's, Weekend. Godard uses what is known as a Mitchell camera to capture his carefully-framed and elegant shots that point where few cameras have pointed before. Godard continues to defy normalcy by pointing the camera at places uncommon, such as the back of Nana's head while she's speaking in conversation, or allowing the camera to hold in place during one long shot. Godard's camera techniques are aplenty and his ambition is most often met with an unexpected and very pleasant success.

Furthermore, Godard knows how to write meaningful, sometimes philosophical dialog that finds ways to be hugely relevant and even deeply-contemplative. Consider the scene where Raoul tells Nana the value of a prostitute, detailing her job description and her role as a woman without many rights and robbed of her individuality and her humanity. She's a piece of meat for lonely men searching for a quick sexual fix that often finds ways to be completely unsexual and unromantic. Raoul illustrates this idea of what it means to be a prostitute in the coldest, yet most fitting way possible.

Another conversation comes near the end, where Nana meets a random soul in a diner and strikes up a conversation. The man turns out to be a deeply thoughtful and wise man who seems to be looking for simple human companionship. Him and Nana have a delightfully philosophical conversation, showing that even two people who've never met one in another in their life possess the ability to connect with each other on an unexpected personal level, fulfilling one another in ways they never found foreseeable.

Make no mistake, however, that Vivre Sa Vie is a cold and often detaching film that leaves little room for connecting with the characters in any way. After viewing four Godard films, three of which from the French New Wave, detachment seems to be an overarching theme for reasons I'm not sure I can adequately explain. Godard seems unable to allow his characters to be more than just unmoving littler pawns in his cinematic game. Despite giving Nana several traits and some debatable motives, even she has her own coldness to her being. At this point, I'm waiting for the film where instead of pushing us about a foot away from the film, Godard grabs us in and gives us a setting, an event, or a more fleshed out character to connect with.

Starring: Anna Karina and Sady Rebbot. Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard.

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