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Quick-Thoughts: Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie (1962)

Who doesn’t love themselves a good, old downward spiral movie? Mwahaha.

Where the free-willed camera travels while constant dialogue and music are being hammered out of the screen makes for such a juxtaposing yet rewarding watch when it comes to Jean-Luc Godard’s third motion picture. Only twelve scenes, twelve moments in the life of a broke woman transitioning into a prostitute, and 84 minutes of melancholy step-by-step examinations of the heinous arc that many French women were forced into during time periods like the 1960s. 

Yet, even if Vivre Sa Vie (My Life to Live) may showcase the slickest concept of Godard’s filmography that I’ve witnessed thus far, it pales in comparison when it comes to its occasionally excursive dialogue. You can reference as many life-aching theories as you can possibly cram-pack into such a limited amount of time, Godard, just don’t expect it all to seamlessly connect to your central main character like LEGOs—cause it sometimes doesn’t. It’s truly the visual execution of the feature-length that gets it to shine unlike many other experimental oeuvres of its era. 

And, Godard is a neat filmmaker and what-have-you, but when am I going to get an ending by him that isn’t the same as the last? Dude, how far up the ladder of your filmography do I have to climb till I find it? 

Nevertheless, everything else that’s plastered in Vivre Sa Vie: absolutely exceptional. Godard wins again thanks to his pensive subject matter that’s exceedingly telling especially in the case of this heartbreaking piecedespite how preachy or distracted it can sometimes be.

Verdict: B+

Conflict in the New Wave (Ranked List)

“Vivre Sa Vie” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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