AOn the autumn 1958 photo shoot of the magazine "Elle", Coco Chanel met a young model with bright blue eyes and an enormous charisma. "What do you want to do with your life?" She asked. The answer was that she wanted to be an actress. "What is your name?" "Hanna Karin Bayer". "You can't possibly become an actress with such a name!" When she left the set, Chanel had already renamed her: "Anna Karina".
A few weeks later, she received a telegram from a hopeful young filmmaker. Jean-Luc Godard was looking for an actress for Belmondo's ex-girlfriend, a small role, for his feature film debut “Breathless”. She reported to the producer's office, Godard eyed her through his dark glasses – and told her she had the role. "However," he added, "you'll have to undress for that." After all, she also appeared naked in a Palmolive commercial.
"Are you crazy?" She said. "I was lying in a bathtub, but the soap bubbles went up to my neck! Maybe I was naked in your imagination. "Spoken, stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind him.
"Tomorrow we will sign the contract"
It could have been, with Karina's career and Godard's most important muse. In autumn 1959 – he was now the sensation of the Nouvelle Vague – he sent a second telegram: "Mademoiselle, this time it is the main role." Reluctantly, she went to the audition. Godard eyed her briefly and said, “You fit the role. We'll sign the contract tomorrow. ”
The filming of "The Little Soldier" in Lausanne did not make much progress. Godard repeatedly canceled the shoot in the morning because he had "no ideas"; Gradually the suspicion arose that he would rather spend his time with Karina.
At an evening dinner, Karina's current boyfriend sat at the top of the table, his girlfriend to his right, Godard to his left. At some point Karina felt like a hand under the blackboard grabbing her and pushing something in. Then Godard got up and said goodbye.
"Come to the rendezvous at midnight"
Karina ran into an adjoining room and unfolded the note: "I love you", it said, "Rendezvous at midnight in Café de la Paix." They were inseparable for the rest of the shoot, after they returned to Paris they moved into an apartment Rue Pasquier, crossed the city at night, went to the cinema, visited friends – and bought two dogs, Pousse Pousse Blanc and Pousse Pousse Noir.
Godard had had the material for "A woman is a woman" in the drawer for a long time, a musical about a stripper who married her boyfriend (Jean-Claude Brialy) through an affair with his boyfriend (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and a pregnancy want to bring.
It is Godard's most serious movie, but not the intended comedy either, because the relationship between the two gradually began to resemble the plot. "They took each other apart, argued, loved, hated," Brialy recalled.
Godard destroyed all of their possessions
They were married now. One night Godard came home and found her bloodstained, she had miscarried. She came back from the hospital after a few days, but Godard, unable to cope with the situation, left her to friends' concern and disappeared for several weeks.
When he came back he rented a villa in the south of France as a gift of reconciliation – but on the way there he turned the car around: he had no time now, there was so much to do.
She took on a role in a non-Godard film and began an affair with its protagonist Jacques Perrin. When she confessed to Godard that she wanted to leave him, he destroyed all of her possessions and left the apartment. She took an overdose of sleeping pills. It was Perrin who found her and took her to the hospital.
"The film saved my life"
Two years later, drained by Godard's jealousy and feeling left alone, she made another attempt at suicide; this time it was found by a painter who was painting the house. Now Godard Karina was in the closet, and when he picked her up again a few weeks later, unstable and weak, he told her that the shooting of "The Outsider Gang" would start in three days.
Basically, all Godard / Karina films from “The Story of Nana S.” are attempts to save their relationship through the brackets of a joint work. Karina has never been seen more true and moving than in "Nana S.", the descent of a woman into prostitution and murder.
She was never more charming and vulnerable than in the "outsider gang", in a love triangle with Claude Brasseur and Sami Frey. "I had lost my love of life back then," she recalled. "I was very, very bad. The film saved my life. ”Half a year later, the two divorced.
"Eleven o'clock at night" is Godard's billing
Godard still hadn't given up hope. Take a look at how secret agent Eddie Constantine tries to teach Anna Karina the words "I love you" in "Alphaville" – proxy words that Godard would have loved to hear from her again. Nevertheless, a year later, they shot "Eleven o'clock at night", actually a settlement of Godard's disappointed with her "betrayal" with Karina – but also an expression of never-ending love.
At the end, Belmondo and Karina blow themselves up with dynamite, and from the afterlife you can still hear the voices of their characters: "Marianne: 'We found her again.' Ferdinand: 'What is it?' Marianne: 'Eternity.' Ferdinand: 'Eternity is the sea.' Marianne:, … and the sun. '”
Anna Karina has made a total of 83 films, eight of them with Godard, and one could say that after the last (“Made in USA”) he retired to emigrate his “invisible films”, with which he was part of the “anti-imperialist struggle” “Wanted to reinvent the film language.
She also filmed with Visconti, Fassbinder, Cukor
Anna Karina, on the other hand, became an international star, sang chansons specially written for her by Serge Gainsbourg, filmed with Luchino Visconti, Tony Richardson, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Volker Schlöndorff, George Cukor, lived for a while with the German-American director Ulli Lommel. They were respectable roles, but film history made this love / hate relationship with Godard.
Actually, she looked like a silent film star with her expressive face, yet she embodied the joie de vivre and self-confidence of the young woman of the 1960s – long before 1968. Now the Danish-born woman has died in Paris at the age of 78.
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