Right into the first scene in Vivre Sa Vie and I was sorta hooked. The camera was shot from behind the two characters, seated at a bar, moving from point to point, back and forth in languid, thoughtful strokes. The cinematography here isn’t just about lovely black and white shots of people in cafes like every other Godard film but a certain detachment from the character in question. You get these awkwardy, sideways, behindy, off kilter type shots. The camera feels alive, moving constantly, like your head is bobbing around, trying for another view as if you’re some kind of curious busybody angling for some drama.

Anna Karina plays the lead role of a prostitute that once harboured dreams of being an actress but somehow ends up losing sight of that naive dream. I think her stunning short bob and fragile face really move the film. One scene has her juxtaposed against a film in film version of Joan of Arc, each actress with a tear halfway down the face. It’s pretty, and pretty damn sad, like watching the last flickers of a candle fade out to nothing.

Then, we get to this beautiful part of the film, where Anna inexplicably turns to an old man next to her in a cafe and they get into this discussion. Its lengthy and involving. Gentle fawning youth, bursting with a certain exuberance, yet wholly uncertain of its actions, conversing with the sage that is time. Then she turns and stares at the camera, dead on. Classic. I wish I was as wise as this dude.

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