8.0/10
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Vivre Sa Vie (1962)

Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 20 September 1962 (France)
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2:22 | Trailer

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Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writers:

Marcel Sacotte (book), Jean-Luc Godard (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

20 September 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

My Life to Live See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$64,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored integral)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Nana: Words should express just what one wants to say.
See more »

Connections

References The Searchers (1956) 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

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User Reviews

 
pinball machines
22 March 2007 | by raintothesoundofpanicSee 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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