How Anna Karina (RIP) Became the Mesmerizing Face of the French New Wave


I’m a born kid from 1954 and as I was born in Persian, I have a definitely different view on the events in 50’s and the 60’s decades.

it might sound strange to most friends in Europe and USA etc. but I can’t explain it.

I was fascinated of the new waves which were going on in the west. especially what would have doing with arts. including cinema;

http://Jean-Luc Godard; http://François Truffaut, http://Federico Fellini, http://Orson Welles, http://Vittorio De Sica, http://Alfred Hitchcock, http://Ingmar Bergman, http://Luchino Visconti etc.

Let’s look here at a great actress of those time; what a time; the golden time, RIP 💖💖

If the French New Wave hadn’t crashed over cinema in the 1950s and 60s, could any of the film movements since have come about? Without auteurs like François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, and most of all Jean-Luc Godard, could the French New Wave itself have happened? And without Anna Karina, would Jean-Luc Godard have become Jean-Luc Godard? Though he did make Breathless, his first and most enduring feature, without Karina, it wasn’t for lack of desire: when he tried to bring the still-teenaged Danish actress onboard the project after spotting her in a soap commercial, she turned down his offer because it would involve a nude scene. But she made less of an objection to political themes, demonstrated by her agreement to participate in Godard’s next movie, the controversial Le Petit Soldat.

In total, Karina would appear in eight of Godard’s films, including A Woman Is a WomanMy Life to LiveBand of OutsidersAlphaville, and Pierrot le Fou — more than enough to make her the nouvelle vague‘s most captivating screen presence. This status has transcended culture and time, as evidenced by “Anna Karina’s Guide to Being Mesmerizing,” the short tribute video by the British Film Institute at the top of the post.

To Godard she was first an actress, then a muse; soon she became his wife, and then nearly the mother of his child. Godard, l’amour, la poésie, the above documentary on Godard and Karina’s professional and personal relationship, argues that her miscarriage became the implicit subject of My Life to Live. From then on their relationship, always described as “tumultuous,” deteriorated; they divorced in 1965, the year before their final collaboration, Made in USA.

“I can’t speak badly of him,” Karina says of Godard in a clip of an interview recorded much later. “He was my teacher, my love, my husband, my Pygmalion.” In her work with Godard, writes New Yorker film critic and Godard biographer Richard Brody, “Karina identified not with characters but with herself, perhaps even more fully on camera than in private life — to create an enduring idea of herself. Karina didn’t become the characters she played; they became her.” Throughout her career, she was thus “marked by the distinctiveness of those early performances, by their difference from all other performances, and she became a living emblem not only of herself but of the French New Wave and of the spirit of the nineteen-sixties over all.” As Brody notes, Karina went on to work with such cinematic luminaries as Luchino Visconti, Jacques Rivette, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Raúl Ruiz, and Jonathan Demme.

She also became a filmmaker herself, directing Living Together in 1973 and the French-Canadian musical road movie Victoria in 2006, and in that same span of time published four novels as well. But since her death last month at the age of 79, it is Karina’s work with Godard in the early 1960s to which cinephiles have instinctively returned and most lovingly celebrated. Both she and he, each in their distinctive artistic fashion, embodied a short time in cinema when all rules seemed broken and all possibilities open. In Godard, l’amour, la poésie, the critic Jean Douchet, a colleague of Godard’s at Cahiers du cinéma, puts it differently: “They met, they fell in love, they broke up. End of story. They were a couple like many others, but it’s true that Anna Karina is magnificent in that period with Godard.” And as the French New Wave recedes farther into the distance, that magnificence will only intensify.



12 thoughts on “How Anna Karina (RIP) Became the Mesmerizing Face of the French New Wave

    • Und das ist der Punkt! Du sagst es. Ich bin froh dass ich mal bisschen mehr Zeit gehabt habe mich ein bisschen auszutoben 😜🤣 danke dir Liebes für deine Unterstützung ❤😘😘 Liebe Grüße Aladin 👍🙏❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you Aladin for writing and sharing this wonderful post! Great video shares too! What an education and introduction you’ve gifted those of us, like myself, who’ve never been introduced to the iconic muse Anna Karina before! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

    Liked by 2 people

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