Vivre Sa Vie [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1962]

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Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Adrian Martin
  • Video interview with film scholar Jean Narboni, conducted by historian Noël Simsolo
  • Television iterview from 1962 with actress Anna Karina
  • Excerpts from a 1961 french television exposé on prostitution
  • Illustrated essay on La Prositution, the book that served as inspiration for the film
  • Stills gallery
  • Director Jean-Luc Godard's original theatrical trailers


My Life to Live
Vivre 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

Cast & Crew

  • Anna Karina
    Anna Karina - Nana Kleinfrankenheim
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    Saddy Rebbot - Raoul
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    André S. Labarthe - Paul
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    Guylaine Schlumberger - Yvette
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    Eric Schlumberger - Luigi

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