Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vivre se Vie

Godard's third film, Vivre se Vie (My life to Live), is a dispersive movement toward pure expression. When Nana declares "I think life should be easy" she ultimately describes the inexpressible nature of patriarchal society. This works in tandem with Godard's subversive use of affection images, the many close-ups of Nana's face, which become expression-in-itself. She passes through the order of things in order to survive. This brings me back to A Woman is a Woman, when Karina's character wants to have a child. She wants to be maternal. For it is this affectual desire that takes the place of the order of things. She is more attuned to these natural relations. The same goes for Nana, the complexity of order is enough to make her want to escape it. But even the escape is an act. She plays a double role here, both actress (of the film) and aspiring actress (in the film). Godard gets at this idea of prostitution through these models of acting. We are prostitutes of our milieu. We sell ourselves until death. These moments of pure expression and moments of contemplation (such as her discussion with the philosopher) explore the limits of language and of the image. When Nana's body circulates through the hands of all these men, the "customers," the pimp, her boyfriend, and even the spectators of the film itself, it is about a circulation of money. Time is money. This is reflexive of the film, as well, where time and money mark and make the image. He reveals for us the status of time. And even the one piece by Poe (at the end of the film) which Godard reads (dubbed) is about gaining time. What is Godard trying to imply? Nana, as abovementioned, is the face of expression, and furthermore is the face of time. She is there to experienced, and there to read for what it is worth. She is both the image and expression that goes beyond language, she is a glimpse of time, in all its simplicity.

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