best film: Pierrot le Fou is the second best Godard film and the 55th best film of all-time the last time I updated my top 100. Watching Karina spar with Belmondo in Godard’s crazy, avant-garde world is such a privilege. It’s a wonderful film. However, look at her list below- it is a small filmography but they’re all superb films— Band of Outsiders is probably the next best.

best performance:  Vivre Sa Vie. I love Karina’s stare, deadpan and ironic takes in Pierrot, Band of Outsiders and A Woman is a Woman but Vivre Sa Vie shows the full range of emotions and her talents. It’s where she is, most centrally, the gaze object and fundamental figure for Godard. Karina is the canvas here for an odd mixture of a study of the human condition and a pop art experimentation. You really couldn’t go wrong though on her list of 1-4 performances below. Again, she doesn’t have a ton of archiveable films but she’s razor sharp in all of them (aside from Cleo which is a cameo really and a bit of trivia).

stylistic innovations/traits:  Godard’s muse. Even those who think Godard’s best three films are Breathless, Contempt and Weekend (none of which feature Karina) will site her as his main muse. Their work together from 1961-1965 was truly transformational. It was a cinematic atom bomb of clustered and aggressively avant-garde work.

directors worked with:  Godard (5)- Clearly one of the five to ten most important auteur/muse partnerships and collaborations.

Top 5 Performances:

  1. Vivre Sa Vie
  2. Pierrot le Fou
  3. Band of Outsiders
  4. A Woman is a Woman
  5. Alphaville

Archiveable films

1961- A Woman Is a Woman
1962- Cleo from 5 to 7
1962- Vivre Sa Vie
1964- Band of Outsiders
1965- Alphaville
1965- Pierrot le Fou