Godard is a controversial French director from the sixties, one of the directors who started the "French New Wave" in the country (An important revolution that gave more space to "realistic" or the so-called Art films). Godard's 1960 classic Breathless had a unique style of film-making and helped set the standards for Modern Cinema. Vivre Sa Vie (My Life to Live) is another one of his classics.
Vivre Sa Vie tells the account of a woman named Nana whose broke life forces her to take up prostitution in order to pay her Rent. The story takes us in the streets of the beautiful Paris, told in a series of 12 episodes like a documentary...
Yes, this film is a classic. Godard's films have always been credited to have rich film-making, something other film-makers (Most likely the future ones) can steal from or inspire from. The Camera constantly changes angles and positions as though trying to decide which spot is the best. It's just crazy like the confused Nana who's simply trying to live her life. The film has it's classy moments and truly they reflect in other parts of world cinema. The film as the synopsis said takes place in continuous 12 episodes that are always followed by a black plaque telling us the names of the character, the location and the incident that occurs in brief. This style does give the film a documentary type experience. A woman's life "documented". How ingenious can it get? It's Godard's style of making it sound realistic. Anna Karina, as Nana, and the entire ensemble is great. They really go with the flow with Godard's style. A scene from the movie that I recall the most is the Nana's dance scene. She simply tries to step out of her horrible life from a moment, dancing wildly on some great catchy tune (Don't know the name). This part really surprises audience as Godard out of nowhere brings in temporary sweetness to this stark film. Quentin Tarantino himself confessed that the famous dance, Uma Thurman's character and the "uncomfortable silences" part in his Pulp Fiction was inspired by this movie. Uma Thurman clearly and almost completely resembles Anna Karina... Pure cinematic Art!
With slow pace, weird shots and subtly crazy film-editing Godard succeeds in bringing out more emotions and character-development. He sets his allegory in a stylish way that the viewer never forgets. And the ending, though a little cold from Godard's side, was pretty heart-breaking.
Truly a classic in world cinema and a rich inspiration for film-makers worldwide. Highly Recommended.