French nouvelle vague icon Anna Karina has passed at age 79. Her death has launched a thousand admiring obits, but her reputation mostly rests upon her starring roles in seven films for director Jean-Luc Godard, whom she married in ’61 and divorced in ’65 after a tumultuous relationship.
I know of six of these — The Little Soldier (’60), A Woman Is a Woman (’61 — resulting in Karina winning a Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival), Vivre sa vie (’62), Band of Outsiders (’64), Pierrot le Fou (’65) and Alphaville (ditto).
I feel tremendous respect for Karina’s place in history, but I honestly never felt profoundly struck or stirred or softened by her performances. This is a minority view.
In addition to her acting, Karina had a singing career (Serge Gainsbourg‘s “Sous le soleil exactement” and “Roller Girl”) and wrote four novels (“Vivre ensemble”, “Golden City”, “On n’achète pas le soleil”, “Jusqu’au bout du hasard”). A life fully lived by all accounts. Let’s leave it at that. Condolences to family, friends, colleagues, fans.