Vivre Sa Vie – Vivre sa vie on The Auteurs


Vivre Sa Vie – Vivre sa vie on The Auteurs.

From the article:

By Hamid Sirhan on December 19, 2009

I have quickly become a fan of Godard’s work in the past week. I had previously enjoyed some of his films as part of my academic study in the past (‘La Chinoise’ in the context of the political atmosphere in 1960s France just before 1968) but the Auteur’s recent film festival (http://www.theauteurs.com/stellaartois (18+)) has given me a chance to experience more of his work for free. ‘Vivre Sa Vie’ is still available to watch today in the UK.

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Prostitution is a theme pervading Godard’s work (eg Yvonne in ‘La Chinoise’) but this is the first time I’ve encountered it as the central narrative force. He tells the story of Nana, played by his wife, a normal housewife who gives up her fantasies of being in the movies to become a prostitute. Through shifting camera work and long takes, Godard shows her working, waiting, smoking (a lot) and then, tragically dying, shot as neither a prime target nor as an innocent bystander by cruel pimps who see no value in her beyond they money they are paying and being paid.

It is a great (if depressing) work that manages to capture ‘60s France (note ’Jules et Jim’ showing at the cinema) and the vagaries of prostitution.Its political commentary never leaves the story floundering and Anna Karina’s performance is subtle and fitting. The film is all about Nana. The other characters merely serve to explain her life (or end it).

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