My Life to Live (1962)

My Life to Live (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Written by Jean-Luc Godard and Marcel Sacotte from the book by Sacotte
Les Films de la Pleiade/Pathe Consortium Cinema
First viewing/Netflix rental
One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Nana: The more one talks, the less the words mean.

Despite a luminous performance by Anna Karina, I have not overcome my aversion to Godard.

The story consists of twelve tableaux or vignettes outlining the descent of Nana (Karina) from shop girl and wanna-be actress to prostitute.  As the film begins, Nana is discussing their breakup with her ex-husband or ex-boyfriend.  Evidentally, there was a child involved, who is no longer in Nana’s life. Next we observe Nana’s attempts to cadge loans and her boring work-a-day existence.

She is ripe for a new trade and seems to have a knack for it.  Unfortunately, she soon turns to a pimp in hopes of higher rewards.

There’s nothing wrong with the story or the acting.  The initial conversation is shot with the actors’ backs to the camera and already I was pretty irritated with this movie.  The middle part is OK but the penultimate tableaux consists of an interminable pretentious conversation about philosophy and I was annoyed again.  Godard is just not for me.


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