You are here

ANNA KARINA

VIVRE ENSEMBLE

73
ANNA KARINA’S DIRECTORAL DEBUT, INSPIRED BY THE 1970’S UNDERGROUND NEW YORK AND QUARTIER ST GERMAIN NEIGHBORHOODS SHE KNEW AND LOVED

Everybody has a favorite Parisian neighborhood, left or right bank. That particular atmospheric energy exuded by the history and stories of the capital inspires us. Sometimes the history and stories fade away. Yet Paris has always been lucky. Numerous directors have filmed the City of Light.  Their works highlight the fugacious essence of the city and their movies capture forgotten images and stories.

 

These films are unique works, witnesses to a past magically captured and fixed on film stock.

Ten years after Marice Delbez filmed Belleville in RUE DES CASCADES (our crowd-funding project, which just reached 100% the first week of May), Anna Karina takes us on a journey across the Seine to discover her beloved St Germain neighborhood.

 

Anna Karina shot the VIVRE ENSEMBLE during a four-week period. Claude Agostini, her director of photography, helped her transform her apartment into a mini film studio, with filming taking place in the living room while the kitchen was used as the technical support room.

 

The result? A film that plunges us into a nostalgic, idealistic 70’s, just before the oil crises of 1974 and when the spirit of May ’68 still reigned in the Latin Quarter.

 

Selected for the 1973 Cannes Film Festival in the Critic’s Week line-up, VIVRE ENSEMBLE is also a genuine Parisian documentary (notably the exterior shots). The film’s atmosphere will delight anyone who knew and loved the city in the 1970’s.

 

Anna Karina tells us a story of a couple, of love and its many forms, of LIVING TOGETHER. Her film also brings us as far as New York, with stolen images of rare beauty that exude innocent energy and lost youth…


HELP US FINANCE THE RESTORATION OF THIS FILM

 

VIVRE ENSEMBLE has received a grant from the CNC but the restoration works are quite costly (especially since the film was auto-financed by Anna Karina -- with a little help from SNC -- and shot on Super 16 mm). The project cannot reach its full potential without this campaign, which will allow for a greater range of technical solutions.

 

Anna Karina is personally involved in this campaign with the intent of giving it every chance of success. With this crowd-funding project, you can give your support to Anna Karina. In return, depending on your choice of a reward, you name will be included in the restoration titles on the film, you will be privy to “behind the scenes experiences” or you will receive authentic mementos of the film.

 

CELLULOID ANGELS and SNC are going to try to motivate additional partners who will add a festive and exciting touch to this campaign.

 

So choose your reward or make a simple donation. We hope that over the next few weeks, thanks to a collective effort, we will be able to write a happy end to this story.

 

 

Olivier PRUVOST, Restoration Supervisor

Restoration work has commenced but as technical supervisor Olivier Pruvost points out “our ability to obtain the best possible results from this restoration depends on the flexibility of the operations. The need for experimentation is somewhat unusual with this project. The film was shot on Super 16mm with a limited budget and lighting. The 4K restoration magnifies the presence of any defects or anomalies, including inherent aspects such as lack of sharpness or underexposure.

We need to alternate grading with restoration and correction, going back from one to the other, in order to achieve the right balance. Certain sections of the Super 16mm scan will be “replaced” with segments from the 35mm blow-up if this option allows the restoration be more faithful to the original work.

The treatment of film grain will be the final step in harmonizing the source material.

This “going-back-and-forth” approach to the restoration has a major inconvenience: staying within the budget and timeframe. We must make difficult decisions and having the possibility to push the technical limits of the restoration is definitely in the best interest of the film.''

Technically, this is a quite a challenge so I certainly hope we will be able to obtain the financial backing necessary.”

Indeed this is an ethical question. If SNC is to respect Anna Karina’s artistic orientations, it is necessary to have the financial leeway to explore all technical solutions.


A BREAKDOWN OF THE RESTORATION FINANCES

 

The restoration budget is 116.313 €. The CNC has awarded a 70.000€ grant. We are trying to raise 19.000 € (the gap will be covered by DVD sales and a potential TV sale of the film, which has never been broadcast on French TV).

 

The 19.000 € breaks down as follows: 13.000 € will be allocated to the film restoration (69%); 1200 € will be used for the creation of the rewards (6%); 4800 € will be used to promote the campaign, manage the rewards system and undertaking marketing and communication of the restoration project (25%).

 

In theaters: 
Mai 1973
Actors: 
Anna Karina
Michel Lancelot
Monique Morelli
Viviane Blassel
Bob Asklof
Jean Aurel
Gérard Pereira
Danny Brown & Lynn Berkley
Chief operator: 
Claude Agostini
Sound engineer: 
Henri Roux
Music: 
Claude Engel
Anna Karina
Film Format: 
Super 16 mm
Duration: 
89mn
Color: 
Couleur

ABOUT ANNA KARINA

« … from her childhood when she went back and forth between her distant mother, a grandmother who died too young and an adoring grandfather, she inherited a fragile sensitivity. She began working at the tender age of 14, becoming the elevator girl in a department store (« first floor: ladies’ shoes, children’s toys… »), then an illustrator, until one day she was hailed by a man on the street, who asked her to act in a short film, La Fille aux Chaussures. The film won a prize at Cannes. Too young to go to drama school, she left her native Denmark for Paris. She was only 17.

 

Thanks to a few Francs earned making chalk drawings on the sidewalk, beautiful young Anna sat down in the Café des Deux Magots without knowing it was a hotspot of St-Germain-des-Près social life. It was her second rendez-vous with luck: « A woman approached me and asked me to model for the Jours de France magazine. I was afraid it was some sort of trafficking scheme. I only accepted on the condition that other people had to be present during the photo shoot - and the day of the shoot at least twelve people showed up! » Soon the young Dane found herself in the office of Hélène Lazareff, the director of Elle magazine “And there was an extraordinary woman sitting there, with a cigarette holder and a huge hat who asked me ‘what is your name?I replied ‘Hann Karin Bayer and she cut me short: ‘you shall be Anna Karina’. It was Coco Chanel!” Thus renamed, the young woman began her modeling career.

 

The film director Jean-Luc Godard spotted her in an advertisement for soap. “He offered me a small role in Breathless (A bout de souffle) with Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo but I had to be undressed. I categorically refused and left”. Godard called her several months later and offered her the main part in Le Petit Soldat, a film about the war in Algeria, censured in France. They fell in love during the filming and spent the next seven years together. “It was a real love story, my first. The roles he gave me were gifts from heaven. Each part was different and this gave me the possibility of constant change”.

 

Godard’s muse, with whom he made Une Femme est une femme (Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival), Vivre sa vie, Bande à part or Pierrot le Fou, etc.. also worked with other well-known directors such as Michel Deville, Jacques Rivette, Luchino Visconti, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Eric Rohmer….

 

Anna Karina also sings in many of her films. In 1967, Serge Gainsbourg wrote “Sous le soleil exactement” with Anna in mind. More recently, Anna Karina recorded “Une histoire d’amour” with Philippe Katerine. The multi-talented actress and singer also writes songs, books and scripts.

 

In 1972, Anna Karina wrote, produced, directed and starred in VIVRE ENSEMBLE, a portrait of love and relationships. In 2008, she wrote and directed VICTORIA, a road-movie filmed in Canada…

 

(Excerpts from an article by Corinne Renou-Nativel published on 13 February/2009 in LA CROIX)

You want to support other projects ?