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VIVRE SA VIE
1962, Janus Films, 80 min, France, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

With dark-rimmed eyes and her iconic bob haircut, Anna Karina stuns as Nana, a restless young Parisian who descends into prostitution when her aspirations to become an actress falter. Recently separated from her husband, Nana is completely alone except for her heartless pimp and the women she knows from hooking in the banlieue. Godard goes bleak here while retaining his dazzling visual ingenuity: The close shots of Nana's face as she watches the close shots of Maria Falconetti's face in Dreyer's THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC are silently moving, while Nana's pool hall dance of gleeful abandon is now a classic New Wave moment. In French with English subtitles.


CHINESE ROULETTE
CHINESISCHES ROULETTE
1976, Janus Films, 96 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Fassbinder goes Gothic with this character-driven, wicked mosaic of intertwining mysteries. Industrial magnate Gerhard Christ (Alexander Allerson) takes his longtime French mistress Irene (Anna Karina) on a weekend getaway to his luxurious countryside chateau. He gets quite a shock when he discovers his wife, Ariane, and disabled teenage daughter, Angela, already at the manse. Angela, who has deviously planned this meeting and is armed with her mute governess (Brigitte Mira) and a collection of grotesque dolls, devises a diabolical and psychologically vicious truth game of "Chinese Roulette" for the adults to play. In German with English subtitles.


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