My Life to Live (It's My Life) (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux) (1962)
Movie InfoVivre Sa Vie presents 12 episodes in the life of a young woman who turns to prostitution to pay her rent. Each episode features a theatrical scene preceded by a title that lists the characters in the episode, its location, and a brief summary of the action. As he would throughout his career, director Jean-Luc Godard uses prostitution as a metaphor for both economic life in general and the position of the filmmaker under capitalism. Vivre Sa Vie stars Anna Karina, who was married to Godard at the time. Her performance was largely improvised as Godard refused to give Karina her lines until just before each scene was shot. In order to maintain the freshness of the performances, Godard rarely made more than one take of each shot. The film is shot in stunning black-and-white by Raoul Coutard. The improvised acting and fragmented story give the viewer the impression of watching a documentary about a woman's life that is also a series of essays about aesthetics and economics. In addition, the film's camera style presents a catalogue of alternatives to conventional shooting strategies. ~ Louis Schwartz, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for My Life to Live (It's My Life) (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux)
Godard frames and edits his shots, moves the camera, uses music, and deploys his actors in ways that still seem radical -- even as several generations of directors since have cribbed and stolen from him.
Godard mixes titles, unusual use of sound, and long scenes of dialog. He is brilliantly served by his wife, Anna Karina, in this film. Karina gives the girl a ring of truth and depth.
Jean-Luc Godard's fourth film is a heartfelt, headstrong attempt to push his own concept of a deconstructed cinema even further into the stratosphere.
Star Anna Karina was in the brutal early rounds of marriage to her director, who was never more doting and egghead-condescending than in this showpiece.
This 1962 film isn't the most stimulating of Godard's early work, but it does show him beginning to pull away from traditional cutting patterns and sequence arrangement.
Twelve Brechtian tableaux chronicle the life and death of a whore, starting out as a documentary on prostitution, ending as a Monogram B movie.
To Live Her Life is, to this very early point in his career, Godard's crowning achievement.
Godard's ode to a hooker remains a bleak, sexy and heartbreaking work of art
A fine example of Godard's experimental affronts to cinematic conventions, his exploration of the human condition, and his concern for social issues. [Blu-ray]
If we were to reduce all of world cinema to just a dozen images, Karina's perfect, pensive face would have to be among them.
On the one hand it's a provocative portrait of social and sexual politics... on the other a moralistic tale of a shallow, emotionally reckless young woman...
Jean Luc-Godard's third feature fuses trademark stylistic playfulness with a stark portrait of the dehumanising nature of capitalist society.
You can see now what Bernard Rose, Mike Figgis, Lars von Trier and all the other DV-fixated filmmakers are striving for; they're trying to reclaim the freedom, the weightlessness, of cinema. Bravo to them.
Audience Reviews for My Life to Live (It's My Life) (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux)
Jean-Luc Godard made some astounding films in the 60's, his impact on the New Wave in France at the time was crucial to its success and he remains to this day, a very influential and important film maker. He didn't always get it right though and for me, Vivre sa vie isn't one of his greats. However, he did do two very important things right. Firstly, he hired Raoul Coutard to shoot the film in beautiful black and white, Paris never looked so good. Secondly, he gave his then wife, Anna Karina, the freedom (if you can call it that) of improvisation. A move that cemented her newly acquired status as the up and coming actress to look out for and also it gave her the confidence she didn't have in her earlier films. It's certainly a turning point in her career which is obvious when comparing her before and afters. Jean-Luc Godard, the epitome of love/hate.More
Good...it's a little out there...but then again what do you expect from a Godard movie?Kudos to the machine gun jump cuts and the rockin song they play on the juke box...anyone know what it is?More
Out of all the films by Jean-Luc Godard I've seen so far, "VIVRE SA VIE" is one of the best, and undoubtedly the most accessible. Anna Karina just radiates on screen (as per usual) and Godard gives his characters room to breathe and tones down his signature stylistic flair to refreshing effect. Some of the most interesting and witty dialogue I've heard from Godard is present here, and feels pulled from a movie made tomorrow (so ahead of it's time). I didn't care for the film's abrupt ending at all, but it was pivotal for the point Godard was trying to make about the subject of prostitution.More
the list of actresses that are so polarizing on screen that you cant take your eyes off of them is short, but anna karina belongs on the short list with stars like monroe, jolie, and johannson. she is mesmerizing to watch, and in this film the camera never really leaves her. the final scene is completely nonsensical, but the rest of the film leading up to it was interesting enough and the camera angles godard chooses for many of his shots adds an entire element on interest to the film. the plot and dialogue are reductively simple, but overall the film is very watchable, especially for godard or karina fans.More
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