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Vivre Sa Vie (Its My Life 1962)

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MY LIFE TO LIVE A film in twelve scenes
Lend yourself to others and give yourself to yourself. Montaigne
A café. Nana wants to leave Paul. The pin-table
Do you really like the guy?
I don't know. I wonder what I'm thinking about?
Has he more money than me? -What do you care?
What's the matter?
Nothing; I wanted to be very precise
I didn't know the best way to say it
Or, rather, I did know, but I don't any more
Just when I should know, too. Does it never happen to you?
Don't you ever talk about anything but yourself?
You are horrible
I'm not horrible, Nana, I'm sad
I'm not sad, Paul. I'm horrible
Don't just parrot lines. This isn't a stage
You never do as I ask; you always want me to do what you want
Anyway, I'm fed up. I want to die
I mean it
Parrot talk
Loving you is exhausting. I'm always having to beg
I exist too. You say I'm cruel, but it's you
Why do you say that? It isn't true. When? On Sunday evening?
You know when... I begged you to introduce me to that man
You did it on purpose
Yes, I did
I despise you
I'd just betray you again
Don't say that
I thought it was important to talk to you, but I don't any more
We might have got together again
But the more we talk, the less the words mean
If I make it on the stage, it won't be thanks to you
Acting isn't everything
You, too! Why do you say that?
If it's what I want, why should you mind?
Someone may discover me one day
Well, don't give up
I haven't given up music. Not like your English lessons
I'm not giving up. That guy is going to take pictures of me
Maybe I'll get into films
That'll be the day
You are horrible, Paul
You really are... it's always the same thing
You say you love me, but you don't think of me as someone special
I hardly love you any more, but I still think you're someone special
Where does saying that get you? I think everyone is the same
You don't approve of my working?
It's not really your scene
You're leaving me because I'm poor
When all's said and done, maybe
Have you got the photos you mentioned on the phone?
I forgot about them. They'll be ready at the end of the week
Is he all right, eating well?
He had earache, but the doctor said it was nothing
What's your job at Pathé-Marconi?
I sell records
Can you lend me 2,000 francs?
Out of the question
Your parents must be glad I've gone
They liked you
I bet!
What's that look for?
Let's not start quarreling again
Shall we have a play?
Got a coin? I only have one
Go on, you start
Those essays Dad's students write...
What about them?
He read us some wonderful efforts at dinner yesterday
They're just kids, they had to describe their favorite animals
One little girl of eight chose a bird
It went: "A bird is an animal with an inside and an outside
"Remove the outside, there's the inside
"Remove the inside and you see the soul"
The record shop. Two thousand francs. Nana lives her life
We're out of stock
Judy Garland?
Have you a guitar recording by Roméo...
What's his name? Raphaël Romero
Raphaël Romero on guitar
In the racks at the back
Is Rita still away?
I think she'll be back on Thursday
She owes me 2,000 francs
Lend me 2,000? -No way; I'm broke
Is it serious? -No, it's OK
That looks great
The story's dumb, but it's very well written
He gazed at the turquoise, star-laden sky, then turned to me
"As one who lives intensely, logically you..." I interrupted him
"You attach too much importance to logic"
For a few seconds I was filled with a bitter sense of triumph
Forgotten, my broken heart
Forgotten, too, the need to put on a brave face
Yes, a distinctly elegant way of escaping this dilemma
The concierge. Paul. The Passion of Joan of Arc. A journalist
Please give me my key
Oh, all right
Come on, give me that key!
I have the pictures
He doesn't look like me at all, he looks more like you
Coming to dinner? -No
I must go
Come and eat
I'm not hungry. I want to see a film. Goodbye
We are to prepare you for death
So soon?
What death?
At the stake
How can you still believe you were sent by God?
God knows where he leads us, but we know the path of our journey
Yes, I'm his child
And the great victory?
It will be my martyrdom
And the deliverance?
I've said goodbye
I bought your movie ticket
Too bad
Didn't we have a date?
I wondered if you would come
Why, am I late?
A little, but that's not why I wondered
Usually I'm very punctual
Eleven at night is very late
I thought you'd forgotten, too
What will you have?
Any rolls left?
A coffee, then
Was that a boyfriend of yours?
No, it was my brother
Have you many brothers?
Five brothers and three sisters
You're surprised? It's a fact
What's new since Wednesday?
Nothing much
Is that red car outside yours?
What is it? A Jaguar?
No, an Alfa Romeo. Are you interested in cars?
I don't know a thing about them
When shall we do those photographs?
Tell me, I told you I was willing
I'm only free on Sundays
I'm off to London on Sunday
Well then, I don't know
How about now? Are you tired?
If I say no, you won't think I'm awful?
No, not at all
Do you really think I could get into films?
I think so. Look, I've brought you a composite sheet
I'd like to do something like that
What's it for?
You send them out to people in films
and a few days later maybe they phone you
I'm a bit shy about undressing
It's nothing much, you know
Can you lend me 2,000 francs?
I would, but I haven't got it
Come on, I'm tired
What about my pictures?
You'll stay with me, then?
The police. Nana is questioned
Born April 15th, 1940, at Flexburg, Moselle
No fixed address. Is that right?
Well, what happened?
Well, I was walking down the street and
I saw a woman buying a magazine
Well, then... she took some money out of her bag
She didn't notice she'd dropped 1,000 francs
So then... I pretended to buy a magazine, too
and I put my foot on her 1,000 francs
She left and...
And she noticed?
She came back towards me and
she stared into my eyes for a long time
So then I gave her back the money
Then why did she bring this charge?
I don't know. I think it was very mean of her
Have you no one to go to in Paris?
Friends, sometimes
Why not ask for an advance?
I have already, too often
What are you going to do?
I don't know... I...
I... is someone else
The boulevards. The first man. The room
How about it?
Is it here?
You've been here before?
Anyone there?
Room 27 or 28?
Room 27
There's never an ashtray
How much do you want?
I don't know, it's up to you
I don't know
Four thousand francs?
You owe me 1,000
I have no change
Never mind, keep it
Take everything off, though
Why not on the mouth?
Meeting Yvette. A café in the suburbs
Raoul. Gunshots in the street
Yvette, how are you?
I hardly recognized you
How are you? -And you?
I'm getting by
So am l. -Good for you
Why? -I thought that...
Why are you here? To dance?
Shall we have a drink?
How's Raymond?
I'll tell you all about it
What happened?
Life's so hard
I'd like to get away, escape to the tropics
Escape's a pipe dream
That's life
I'll be back in a minute
Well, tell me
One evening, Raymond
came home with railway tickets to Brest
He said he had a job, so we all moved
and went to live in a hotel by the harbor
I saw nothing of him
He was "working"
I'd take the children out, buy them ice cream
I worried
because I couldn't figure how he earned his money
One evening, after three weeks
he just never came back
I had to manage on my own
with the children my mother-in-law didn't want to look after
Gradually, I became a prostitute; it was easier
Then, two years later I went to the movies one evening
and saw him acting in an American film
And now?
Everything's fine
But not much fun
It's depressing, but that's not my fault
I think we're always responsible for our actions. We're free
I raise my hand - I'm responsible
I turn my head - I'm responsible
I am unhappy - I'm responsible
I smoke - I'm responsible
I shut my eyes - I'm responsible
I forget I'm responsible, but I am
I told you there's no escape
Everything is good
You only have to take an interest in things
After all, things are what they are
A message is a message
Plates are plates
Men are men
And life is life
The boy I greeted wants to meet you. Do you mind?
I don't mind
She's no film star, this baby of mine
She works on the factory assembly line
We live in one room down by the railway track
With a lovely view of the warehouse out back
No Riviera for us on our holidays
No family with a fond Daddy who plays
But the light that shines in my baby's eyes
Is more to me than the stars in the sky
And when the rest of the town starts to doze
The late evening sun in our window glows
We whisper in the secrecy of our own four walls
And make love together as darkness falls
Is she a lady or a tramp?
Insult her. If she's a tramp, she'll get angry; if a lady, she'll smile
We'll see
Are you a friend of Yvette's?
I already know you
You don't. -It was three months ago
Boulevard Saint-Germain, looking at photos
That's true
Why did you deny it? You parrot anything
You're ridiculous. Why are you looking at me like that?
You look stupid, and your hair looks awful
Wait, I've got something to tell you
My eyes
The letter. Raoul again. The Champs Elysées
Dear Madame, a friend who worked for you gave me your address
I would like to come and work for you
I am 22
I think I am pretty
My height is...
My hair is short
but grows very fast
I enclose a photo and...
So it's you?
The classic letter
Yes, it's me
How did you find me?
I followed you. I was in my car and I saw you come in here
You've got nerve
No, you are very beautiful
You disappeared fast the other day
When was that?
When the crook was shot; you just vanished
I don't think they were crooks, it was some political stuff
Oh, well...
In any case, I didn't mean that you weren't brave
I was just making conversation
What do you think of me?
I think you are very good
You have great goodness in your eyes
I see, I didn't understand; it's a funny thing to say
I wasn't expecting a Catholic answer. What I meant was:
Do you place me in a special category of women?
Do you like being special?
No reason
For me, there are three types of girls
Some have one expression, some have two, some have three
Is the address from Yvette?
Are you serious?
I want to earn more money
I can help you earn even more here
Really? I'm willing
Why haven't you tried to get into films?
I did. Two years ago, I wanted to make it on the stage
I was in Pacifico at the Châtelet
Once I was in a film with Eddie Constantine
I'm telling you my life story. How awful
I'm a friend
Give me a smile. -I don't feel like it
Shall I come with you?
When do I start?
When the city lights go up, the streetwalker's endless beat begins
Afternoons. Money. Sinks. Pleasure. Hotels
What is the routine?
The prostitute trades on her charms
to build up a good clientele and establish lucrative conditions
Must she be beautiful?
No, although beauty is an important factor in a prostitute's career
It attracts the attention of the pimp
since physical allure can be an immense source of profit
Must she register?
Since the law of April 13th, 1946
prostitutes are subject to medical but not police supervision
The 1946 law and decree 2,253 of November 5th, 1947
established the National Sanitary Register for all women
shown by conclusive evidence
to be leading a life of prostitution
But what must I do?
Everywhere the procedure is the same
By her dress, attitude and make-up
the prostitute indicates her trade
Sometimes, in defiance of the law
she will appeal directly to the client
What do I charge?
From 300 to 15,000 francs
for a meeting varying from a few minutes to an hour
The rate for a whole night ranges from 5,000 to 50,000 francs
Can I go anywhere I like?
Controls have been attempted. In Paris, for instance
a police regulation of August 25th 1958
forbids loitering with intent
at certain hours, in the Bois de Boulogne
and around the Champs Elysées
Do I keep all the money?
A daily tax is agreed
Around the Champs Elysées
20,000 to 30,000 francs a day
Payable weekly
Do I have a room?
Hotels usually change the towels, not sheets
Beds are often made just with a bottom sheet
The police?
They conduct raids, interrogations
Anyone infringing regulations is sent for medical tests
Can I drink in a café?
A drunken prostitute is a liability
undesirable because she creates scenes
If I'm pregnant?
People think prostitutes always have abortions
That's not true
They do try to avoid pregnancy, by chemical or other means
But when pregnancy is confirmed, abortions are rare
Must I accept anyone?
The prostitute must always be at the client's disposal
She must accept anyone who pays
That one... that one...
Are there clients every day?
Lower-grade prostitutes
average five to eight clients a day
They earn 4,000 to 8,000 a day, but some earn extraordinary sums
Sixty clients a day is not unheard of on Saturdays or holidays
A young man. Luigi. Nana wonders whether she's happy
What about days off?
Usually after the medical check
Her man usually takes her out
often to see her child in the country
Afterwards, they go to a restaurant or a movie
Is Luigi here? -He's upstairs
I'll be five minutes
The film's started, anyway
Any cigarettes?
What kind? -I just wanted to know
Any cigarettes? -They have them downstairs
How are you? -So-so
We were supposed to go to the movies
I'll cheer you up
I'll do the kid blowing up a balloon
You ought to be my man
Now will you let us talk?
The streets. A guy. Happiness is no fun
Inspector Fleytoux has bought a BMW
They could have supplied chairs
It's always like this
How much? -3,000. 5,000 if I undress
Just one more. -I must keep some
One of those, then? A little one. I'll be very nice
Do you come here often?
Haven't we met before? -Maybe
What's your name?
That's a nice name
Yes, I'm fond of it
What's your job?
I do advertising pictures
Is that like the films? -No, they're stills
I was in a film with Eddie Constantine
No Pity. Did you see it?
You don't talk. Are you romantic?
If you give me more, you can stay
You want a second girl? I'll see
Are you going? -Yes
Can you spare five minutes? -Ask Monique, she's in 41
What's up? -Nothing
They never work
See you on Tuesday
What are you doing? -I'm going down
Can you spare a moment? -How much?
Ask him. -All right
Room 45
Arrange it with her
What's your name? -Elizabeth, like the Queen of England
Shall I strip, too? -No, it's not worth it
So I'm to do nothing? -I don't know
Like that
Place du Châtelet. A stranger. Nana the unwitting philosopher
Mind if I look?
You look bored. -Not at all
What are you doing? -I'm reading
Will you buy me a drink? -If you like
Do you come here often? -Occasionally. I happened by
Why are you reading? -It's my job
It's odd
Suddenly I don't know what to say; it often happens to me
I know what I want to say. I think about whether it is what I mean
But when the moment comes to speak, I can't say it
Yes, of course
You've read The Three Musketeers?
I saw the film. Why?
Because in it, Porthos
this is really in Twenty Years Later
Porthos, tall, strong, a little stupid
he's never thought in his life
He has to place a bomb in a cellar to blow it up
He does it
He places the bomb, lights the fuse, then he runs away, of course
But suddenly he begins to think
What about? How it is possible to put one foot before the other?
You must have thought about that, too
So he stops running. He can't go on, he can't move forward
The bomb explodes, the cellar falls on him
He holds it up with his shoulders
But after a day, or maybe two, he is crushed to death
The first time he thought, it killed him
Why did you tell me that story?
No reason, just to talk
Why must one always talk?
Often one shouldn't talk, but live in silence
The more one talks, the less the words mean
Perhaps, but can one?
I don't know
I've found that we can't live without talking
I'd like to live without talking
Yes, it would be nice, wouldn't it?
Like loving one another more
But it isn't possible
But why? Words should express just what one wants to say
Do they betray us?
But we betray them, too
One should be able to express oneself
It has been done in writing
Think: someone like Plato
can still be understood - he can
Yet he wrote in Greek, 2,500 years ago
No one really knows the language, at least, not exactly
Yet something gets through, so we should be able to express ourselves
And we must
Why must we? To understand each other?
We must think, and for thought we need words
There's no other way to think
To communicate, one must talk; that is our life
Yes, but it is very difficult
I think life should be easy
Your talk of The Three Musketeers may make a good story
but it's terrible
Yes, but it's a pointer
I believe
one learns to talk well only when one has renounced life for a time
That's the price. -So, to speak is fatal?
Speaking is almost a resurrection in relation to life
Speech is another life from when one does not speak
So, to live in speech
one must pass through the death of life without speech
I may not be putting it clearly, but
there is a kind of ascetic rule that stops one from talking well
until one sees life with detachment
But one can't live everyday life with... I don't know
With detachment
We balance, that's why we pass from silence to words
We swing between the two because it's the movement of life
From everyday life one rises to a life we call superior
The thinking life
But this life presupposes one has killed the everyday
too elementary life
Then thinking and talking are the same thing?
So I believe
Plato said so; it's an old idea
One cannot distinguish the thought from the words that express it
An instant of thought can only be grasped through words
So one must talk and risk lying?
Lies, too, are part of our quest. Errors and lies are very similar
I don't mean ordinary lies
Iike I promise to come tomorrow, but I don't, as I didn't want to
You see, those are ploys
But a subtle lie is little different from an error
One searches and can't find the right word
That's why you didn't know what to say
You were afraid of not finding the right word. That's the explanation
How can one be sure of having found the right word?
One must work
It needs an effort
One must speak in a way that is right, doesn't hurt
says what has to be said, does what has to be done
without hurting or bruising
One must try to be in good faith
Someone told me: "There is truth in everything, even in error."
That's true. France didn't see it in the seventeenth century
They thought one could avoid error
and what's more, that one could live directly in the truth
It isn't possible
Hence Kant, Hegel, German philosophy: to bring us back to life
and make us see that we must pass through error to arrive at the truth
What do you think about love?
The body had to come into it
Leibnitz introduced the contingent
Contingent truths and necessary truths make up life
German philosophy showed us that
in life, one thinks with the servitudes and errors of life
One must manage with that, that's true
Shouldn't love be the only truth?
For that, love would always have to be true
Do you know anyone who knows at once what he loves?
No. When you're twenty you don't know
All you know are bits and pieces, you make arbitrary choices
Your "I love" is an impure affair
But to be completely at one with what you love, you need maturity
That means searching. This is the truth of life
That's why love is a solution, on condition that it is true
The young man again. The oval portrait. Raoul trades Nana
What shall we do today?
I don't know
Shall we go to the Luxembourg?
I think it's going to rain
I thus saw in vivid light a picture all unnoticed before
It was the portrait of a young girl just ripening into womanhood
I glanced at the painting hurriedly, and then closed my eyes
It was an impulsive movement to gain time for thought
to make sure that my vision had not deceived me
to calm and subdue my fancy for a more sober and more certain gaze
In a very few moments I again looked fixedly at the painting
The portrait, I have already said, was that of a young girl
It was a mere head and shoulders
done in what is technically termed a "vignette" manner
much in the style of the favorite heads of Sully
The arms, the bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair
melted imperceptibly into the vague yet deep shadow of the background
As a thing of art, nothing could be more admirable
than the painting itself
But it could have been neither the execution of the work
nor the immortal beauty of the countenance
which so vehemently moved me
Least of all could it have been that my fancy
had mistaken the head for that of a living person
At length, satisfied with the true secret of its effect
I fell back within the bed
I had found the spell of the picture
in a "Iife-likeliness" of expression
Is that book yours? -No, I found it here
Can I have one?
It's our story: a painter portraying his love
Shall I go on?
And in sooth some who beheld the portrait
spoke of its resemblance as of a mighty marvel
and a proof not less of the power of the painter
than of his deep love for her
whom he depicted so surpassingly well
But at length, as the labor drew nearer to its conclusion
there were admitted none into the turret
for the painter had grown wild with the ardor of his work
and turned his eyes from the canvas rarely, even to regard his wife
And he would not see that the tints which he spread upon the canvas
were drawn from the cheeks of her who sat beside him
And when many weeks had passed and but little remained to do
save one brush upon the mouth and one tint upon the eye
the spirit of the lady again flickered up
as the flame of the lamp
And then the brush was given and then the tint was placed
And for one moment, the painter stood entranced
before the work he had wrought
But in the next, while he yet gazed, he grew tremulous and aghast
and crying with a loud voice: "This is indeed Life itself!"
turned suddenly to regard his beloved:
She was dead
I'd like to go to the Louvre
No, I don't like looking at pictures
Why? Art and beauty are life
I adore you
And I love you
Why not come and live with me?
Yes. I'll tell Raoul it's all over
Let me put my coat on, at least!
Don't be silly
What did I do wrong?
You must take anyone who pays
Not anyone. Sometimes it's degrading
That's where you're wrong
Weekdays we're too busy to go to the movies
and on Sundays there's a line
Where to? -Their car
Why did you make me come?
You're going to stay with them
Well, are you going?
First the girl
First the money
Get the money
100,000 is missing
Don't think I won't shoot just because of the girl
You shoot, I forgot to load it
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