By clarencecarter | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog May 31, 2008 at 8:54AM
1. Even though Vivre sa vie may leave its heroine, Nana (Anna Karina), used and dead, crumpled in a heap in the streets, on the heels of forcing her into prostitution, it still may be an even more fitting filmic tribute to the actress behind the role’s beauty than the lighter, more palatable A Woman Is a Woman or Band of Outsiders Though to highlight the ways in which this somber, geometric, slippery film accentuates her porcelain charms serves only to acknowledge the female objectification at the heart of movie watching (and western culture at large) that Godard attempts at disassembling in this, his third feature. Vivre sa vie is a movie that seems done to Nana/Karina, except perhaps in her famous dance.
2. Has there ever been a greater jump in facility between films than what Godard exhibits from Breathless to A Woman Is a Woman to Vivre sa vie? The only comparable leap amongst his contemporaries would have to be Rivette’s move from the paranoid Nouvelle Vague-isms of Paris Belongs to Us to his revision of historical filmmaking as pageantry in The Nun (also starring Karina, incidentally) both of which exploded into the completely unhinged masterwork L’amour fou.