Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 1962
UK: BFI (Collections)
Cast: Anna Karina, Saddy Rebbot, Andre S Labarthe, Guylaine Schlumberger, Gerard Hoffman, Monique Messine, Paul Pavel, Dmitri Dineff, Peter Kassovitz, Eric Schlumberger, Brice Parain, Henri Atal, Gilles Queant, Odile Geoffroy, Marcel Charton, Jack Florency, Mario Botti, Jean Ferrat, Jean-Luc Godard, Gisele Hauchecorne, Jean-Paul Savignac, Laszló Szabó
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Country: France
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 85 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains prostitution theme and moderate sex references
UK Release Date: 19 July 2002 (Limited Re-release - London)


'Dedicated to B-movies', the film shows, in 12 episodes, how Nana (Anna Karina) goes from shop-girl to prostitute, finally ending up caught in a B-movie shootout.

When she separates from her husband, Nana finds herself unable to make ends meet and slips into prostitution in order to pay her rent. After being taken on by the pimp, Raoul (Sady Rebbot), she falls in love with a young man and hopes to start a new life with him, but Raoul has other plans for her...

Anna Karina, Godard's wife and star, was never lovelier than in this film. Her style is modelled on silent screen divas like Louise Brooks, but the beauty that dazzles in the film's many close-ups is a defining image of 1960's glamour.

Filmed in the streets, hotel rooms and cafes of Paris and suburbs, IT'S MY LIFE aka VIVRE SA VIE is a portrait of the city and a case study of the life of a prostitute, using contemporary documentation and statistics. But the film is not a dry sociological analysis. Cinematographer Raoul Coutard produces a stark, flat image that pastiches the styles of Rossellini and Bresson, while remaining entirely original. Michel Legrand's minimal soundtrack achieves in one simple phrase all the pathos of the most elaborate orchestration. Godard's script and direction result in an innovative and intensely moving narrative, which takes the informal liberties of the New Wave and produces a formal manifesto of unique visual style. IT'S MY LIFE won the special jury prize at the 1962 Venice Film Festival.

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