Three days ago was a special day, it was March 3. Normally, this day would be the 62nd day of the year leaving a remaining 303 days until the end of the year according to the Gregorian calendar. However, 2012 is a leap year so March 3 was now the 63rd and not the 62nd day of our year. The reason why I remember March 3 and wish to mention it here is not because three is the magic number though it is. On this day 51 years ago the free spirited and beautiful Anna Karina married Jean-Luc Godard, a pioneer of the French New Wave. On March 3, 1961, during the filming of Une femme est une femme, they were married. Four years later in 1965 they were divorced.
Around this time of year I am drawn to remember these colourful creative talents who came together to love, collaborate, and create. Unfortunately, for only a few years. Around this time in March I am also reminded to remember the entire Nouvelle Vague, a fascinating time for lovers of the history of European art cinema. In fact, it was “an artistic movement whose influence on film has been as profound and enduring as that of surrealism or cubism on painting…” [Craig Philips in his essay French New Wave] And so I spend time especially with images of Karina – then actress, singer, later also director, and writer – [she wrote four novels Vivre ensemble (1973); Golden City (1983); On n’achète pas le soleil (1988); and Jusqu’au bout du hasard (1998)] and with the films of Godard.
I also have the tendency to return to some of the fascinating writings of the influential French film critic and theorist, André Bazin, to his selected essays on ‘What is Cinema.’ And of course, I revisit some of the works of film critic and filmmaker, also one of the founders of the New Wave, François Truffaut. It has become my personal tradition to return to some of the great creative spirits of 1950s and 60s Paris who have influenced me in my own artistic ways. But my cinematic pilgrimage into deep focus usually takes place always in March.
Along with my image, I have selected one of my favourite book scenes of all times from the film A woman is a woman, directed by Godard and the film that won Karina the Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival. I have always loved to love my books. So I happen to adore visiting Anna Karina and her books in Une femme est une femme in 1961.