Review: ‘Vivre Sa Vie – Film en Douze Tableaux’

As he looked at a young, cynical hoodlum inBreathless, director Jean-Luc Godard brings his dispassionate outlook to a pretty girl who slips into prostitution. Nothing sentimental here but a knowing series of episodes that skillfully probe the girl's character and life.

As he looked at a young, cynical hoodlum inBreathless, director Jean-Luc Godard brings his dispassionate outlook to a pretty girl who slips into prostitution. Nothing sentimental here but a knowing series of episodes that skillfully probe the girl’s character and life.

Godard eschews his jump cutting and brittle pacing of the past to make a well sustained, non-sensational look at a girl adrift in Paris. She is depicted via 12 little episodes, each getting a title on the screen. First she breaks with a rather weak, self-indulgent boyfriend (Andre Labarthe). The girl gets locked out of her apartment, leaves her job and finally goes into prostitution. She ends up with a procurer (Saddy Rebot). When she tries to break with him for a young man she is sold to another group, only to be shot down when they fight over money.

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.

Vivre Sa Vie - Film en Douze Tableaux

France

Production

Braunberger. Director Jean-Luc Godard; Producer Pierre Braunberger; Screenplay Jean-Luc Godard; Camera Raoul Coutard; Editor Agnes Guillemot; Music Michel Legrand; Art Director [uncredited]

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1962. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Anna Karina Saddy Rebbot Andre Labarthe G. Schlumberger Gerard Hoffman Monique Messine

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