Shot in just four weeks on the streets of Paris in 1962, Jean Luc-Godard's third feature fuses trademark stylistic playfulness with a stark portrait of the dehumanising nature of capitalist society.
Vivre Sa Vie traces the downward spiral of shopgirl Nana (impressively played by Godard's wife Anna Karina). Separated from her husband and yearning to break into the movies, she falls behind on her rent, and ends up working as a prostitute for the pimp Raoul (Sady Rebbot).
Drawing out various connections between prostitution and cinema, Vivre Sa Vie is crammed with allusions and cinematic references, notably to Carl Dreyer's classic The Passion Of Joan Of Arc. The soundtrack experimentations, meanwhile, repeatedly foreground the filmmaking process, while an autobiographical dimension is suggested when Godard himself reads out the young lover's words to Nana, blurring the boundaries between film and life.