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Sauve qui peut (la vie)
Year:
1980
Country:
West Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland
Genre:
Drama
IMDB rating:
7.0
Director:
Jean-Luc Godard
Michel Cassagne as Piaget
Paule Muret as Paul's ex-wife
Monique Barscha as Chanteur d'opéra
Dore De Rosa as Elevator Attendant
Jacques Dutronc as Paul Godard
Fred Personne as First client
Roger Jendly as 2nd Guy
Cécile Tanner as Cecile
Anna Baldaccini as Isabelle's sister
Roland Amstutz as Second client
Isabelle Huppert as Isabelle Rivière
Nathalie Baye as Denise Rimbaud
Storyline: An examination of sexual relationships, in which three protagonists interact in different combinations.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
DVD-rip 480x304 px 700 Mb mpeg4 1156 Kbps avi Download
Reviews
The bets thing about Godard
Somewhere about thirty minutes into the movie it struck me how much Godard loves something about movie-making. That's a rare feeling -- to watch a movie and feel the director's love, passion, or fascination for/with the medium. There's a character named Godard in the movie. He's a director. At one point, he says, "The only reason I make movies is because I haven't the strength to do nothing at all." One thinks that the Real Godard would have us believe the words were coming from him. BUT seeing his frames, his cuts, the way he sets the light -- the inventiveness of all of it -- you just feel his joy in the enterprise.
1999-02-14
Let's not go overboard...
Sauve Qui Peut loosely translates as "every man for himself" and as such I guess is Godard's acknowledgment that 1968's dream of a new society is gone and everyone has to get on with the daily grind. The three protagonists try and save themselves in different ways, Natalie Baye through getting back to nature, Huppert through selling herself and the director Paul Godard through his work. Everyone however is ground down by the social relations they must operate within.

As ever Godard leverages as much of his library as he can into the film, with huge chunks of Duras, Bukowski and sundry other writers cut & pasted in. And he plays the usual games with sound and image, juxtaposing them sometimes to beautiful effect, sometimes dissonant, quite often very funny.

A lot of people find Godard's later work somewhat depressing and it's true it mostly lacks the fizz of his early 60's stuff, however there are compensations; he seems to be putting more of his heart as well as his head into the work in later years. There is more than enough here to draw you in and keep you watching for several viewings.
2004-07-14
Save (Your Life) Who's Able / Run for (Your Life) If You Can
There are three central characters in this film, and three central stylistic devices that we must become accustomed to in order to better appreciate the concept of the film as Godard sees it. The first of these particular devices is a literal slowing down of time; in which the action of the film freezes and then advances one single frame at a time at seemingly sporadic points throughout. The second is Godard's continually jarring use of sound design and editing; taking dialog from one scene and placing it over shots taken from somewhere else entirely, or, indeed, occasionally having the audio from one scene continue into the next one before having it cut out abruptly. The third and final technique is much more transparent and involves the director manipulating the events of the film into recognisable chapter points decided by theme. This creates an often jarring and confusing rupture in the film's linear timeline, making the film more of a formal essay/thematic rumination than an actual, identifiable narrative. At any rate, if you're familiar with Godard's work, then some of these techniques will be fairly recognisable. However, the film is still one of the director's most challenging and enigmatic experiments; filled with subtle elements of almost Buñuelian satire, and some deeply flawed and often detestable characters.

With this in mind, the film can be interpreted on a number of levels, not least as a visual essay on the creative process itself. However, one recognisable strand of the film deals most plainly with human relationships, frailties and fragilities, and the idea of escape. The way the layers of theme, character and events are woven throughout the film - combined with Godard's bold experiments with structure and presentation - is truly fascinating, though it certainly isn't an easy film to enjoy or comprehend without the benefit of repeated viewings. The satire used throughout is incredibly subtle, with references to society as prostitution, the role of the director as a selfish deviant and the mechanics of society in relation to the sold out 60's generation cast adrift in the 80's consumerist abyss, all hinted at through the bold combination of character, dialog, scenario, and the actual presentation of the film. Instead of presenting this colourfully, as someone like Buñuel might have done - as evident in films such as Belle de jour (1967), The Phantom of Liberty (1974) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) - Godard's presentation of the film seems incredibly straight-faced, with a largely un-stylised and matter-of-fact approach to the cinematography, shot composition and production design going against the more iconic and imaginative films that he produced in the 1960's.

This was effectively the beginning of the third phase of Godard's career, following on from his more aggressive, experimental and politically-themed films of the 1970's, and seeming to show a greater level of intelligence and emotional maturity than his much more successful work of the early-to-mid 1960's. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a masterpiece, but it is at least a thought-provoking and fascinating idea and one that is conveyed in Godard's typically jarring and alienating approach to editing, sound design and direction. It is also notable for the two incredibly bold and effective performances from Natalie Baye and Isabelle Huppert, who act as the principal anchors to the film's central thematic preoccupations. Both of these characters share similar qualities, though ultimately seem to come from completely different worlds. Baye's character works in television, is in the midst of an on-again-off-again love affair with a jaded television director, and seems to be struggling to reconcile her once defiant need for independence and that 60's sense of individuality in favour of a comfortable life in the country.

On the other side of the fence we have Huppert's character, a young prostitute also looking to make an escape of sorts, though not quite on the same emotional level as Baye. In exploring Huppert's character, Godard creates his most pertinent scene of satire and indeed, the most iconic scene in the film. Here, Huppert's prostitute is involved in an elaborate sex game with a high-ranking business man, his young assistant and a second prostitute that never speaks. The scene is shocking, uncomfortable and incredibly funny, all at the same time; much like the film itself. More importantly however, Godard uses this scene to make his most explicit comment on the notion of industry and the foundation of society at the dawn of a new decade. It also ties in with certain implications of the title; Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980). At its most simplified level, the title can be translated as Save (Your Life) Who's Able / Run for (Your Life) If You Can, which suggests certain ideas that Godard himself talks about in the film with the character of the television director played by Jacques Dutronc; a man whose selfishness and volatile relationships with the various women in his life make up yet another facet of the film's complicated emotional design.

The title can also be seen as an ironic judgement on the once radical 60's generation that Godard was very much part of; a generation now consumed by commercialised consumption, greed and pointless self-absorption, guilt and examination. The title more commonly used in the UK, Slow Motion, is also alluded to by Godard, not only with the film's deliberately slow pace, but with the idea of slowing down moments in the attempt to see beyond the surface action, and instead, to see whether or not there is something else happening behind the facade of this ever moving tableau. Ultimately, Godard's ideas remain vague, forcing the viewer to question the intentions of the characters and what the filmmaker seems to be suggesting by their presentation within the film.
2008-05-27
"This is it". The brightness and boldness of Jean Luc.
I really don´t know what David Hammer means by "joy for the enterprise". The only thing i know is that there´s a moment in our evolution in which we realize that life is just life. "Live your life as life lives itself" (Chinese proverb). Everything else is our invention, the invention of our minds. The product of a great fear of our degradation; degradation that naturally affects each of the living creatures of the earth. I understand what Godard means and share his feeling. Life is not only "joy", David. Life is much more than pleasure and excitement. Paul Godard (the character) reflects a deep feeling of the great French director. "I am not strong enough to accept life is just life. I need to believe we are here just here in order to DO something. The simplicity of life is difficult to accept in communities like ours. We are used to "produce", to have a product as a consequence of our time spent. A very strong and wise man can accept this fact. The "ouvre" of Jean Luc Godard show us that he moves, produces among elements that are not the ordinary ones. Godard has reached the moment of awareness in his "jeneusse". We can realize that by watching his films. The only thing that remains for me to do is just thank Jean Luc for his truth and for helping me to create mine.
2003-04-25
incisive, fun, and daring filmmaking
Jean-Luc Godard's "comeback" movie is his best work since the 1960's, which is either saying a lot or a little depending on point of view of his work in the past thirty-five years. It actually tells *stories* while having the usual lot of bizarre play and dour commentary on commerce. The acting is also uniformly excellent, and they do a lot without always having to do too much; it's interesting to note Huppert here, the same year she got plopped into Heaven's Gate she got to play another woman 'of the night' as it were, but she fits much better under Godard's hand. It's the kind of movie that reminds me why I keep watching whatever the man does, even after I get burned by one of his more pedantic-semantic movies. It has energy, gusto, and I could put it on any time and feel like I got something new out of the experience.
2014-10-30
Every "director" for himself
This was supposed to be Jean-Luc Godard's return to "mainstream film." Are you kidding? New wave had gone so far, this "return" to mainstream is still completely off the wall, incomprehensible, and totally obscene. Full of senseless and exaggerated graphic conversation, it tells more about Godard's twisted imagination than what was supposed to be a depiction of French sexual mores.

If I thought all fathers talked about their pubescent daughters as is portrayed here, and all encounters with prostitutes were as mechanically detached as the "role playing" in this film, or that many gay men were as indiscriminate as he depicts, I would think that Godard had some useful social comment going, but I suspect this is all about "Godard" and nothing about "real life."
2017-11-27
One of my favourite Godard movies
I never did quite 'get' Dali. All those contortions. Grotesque shapes. Stunted creatures. Then one day I saw clues. His 'melting pocket-watch' (The Persistence Of Memory) was not just a silly timepiece, bent out of shape like wax melting off a table. It was the fluidity of time, how we perceive time in different ways. When we have fun (for instance) and time seems to speed up. When we're bored, and it slows.

Our inner experience of time is affected by our perception. Our focus, our mental state, it makes a big difference. We are similarly affected by how things are presented externally. Trees flashing past so quickly they are almost a blur. Have you ever been on a train as it traverses a wooded hill? But see the same trees from the hilltop and their majesty and poetry become evident. In both cases, perhaps there is no absolute 'reality' – only different ways of perceiving it. At any one second, our senses are overloaded with more data than our consciousness allows. It is less a case of 'seeing what is really there' - but of exerting control over our selection process, our filtering, and deciding what data to take time to consciously process; and what our conscious mind ignores.

Perception is, for Godard, an enduring theme. Speed it up, slow it down. The camera mimics the process of visual perception. It chooses what to observe, and how. It 'tells' us what to think. Can cinema, by its careful control of simulated perception, increase our understanding of 'how' we perceive things? Or alert us to the possibility that there is 'more' in front of our eyes than we might have assumed on that busy day? The nominal plot revolves around a three characters. A filmmaker called Godard. Denise, a writer/editor trying to make a career change. And Isabelle, a prostitute (Isabelle Huppert) trying to better herself. Godard and Denise are in the painful process of ending a relationship. He is also going through a tough time with his ex-wife and daughter. Denise sees Isabelle being abused in the street. Isabelle sleeps with Godard after going to a movie with him. She wants to get a new place to live – even phoning about a flat during a bizarre sex scene - and she wants to work for herself instead of the pimp. Not knowing Godard is the landlord, she visits their cottage up for rent as Godard throws himself across the table at Denise.

Three wildly different life trajectories. Intersecting in ways that allow the film to challenge accepted notions. Toying with the nature of perception. And even asking how we get to where we want to be in life – or not. Separate chapters - after the intro sequences - for each character. Then 'Music' brings all three together. (Look out for unusual sound tropes as well.) Slow Motion – by whatever name we call it – is almost as conventional as Godard gets. While the narrative is far from mainstream, it is a more recognisable cinema experience than much of his most challenging (or didactic, uncommercial) work. And it provides material to sustain many repeated viewings.

The film includes about 15 'stop-action' shots, where the image is stopped completely, slowed down, replayed, and/or speeded up. We don't just analyse images outside of their diegetic function: we are able to invent a parallel diegesis. It is almost like the break-up of a relationship where a man and woman see 'reality' from totally different perspectives. Godard deconstructs his own maxim of 'truth 24 times per second' by varying the speeds. Outwardly hollow moments contain more than might otherwise meet the eye. It is not the subject matter and characters that demand Brechtian analysis, to become aware of our spectator involvement, so much as the process of perception itself. In a scene where an executive orchestrates a scenario with two prostitutes and another man, we are again confronted with complex metaphor, ("Okay," he says, "we've got the image, now we'll take care of the sound.") But here, the symbol of prostitution is not playing into the Marxist-bourgeois analogy so commonly used by Godard in films such as 2 Or 3 Things I Know About Her. In the debauchery, we can see the construction processes and their perception, the images, the sound, used to no specific purpose other than gratification – thus mimicking the production of mindless entertainment in Hollywood consumerist cinema.

Compounding such stop-motion tropes is the use of interior dialogue. Isabelle plays out another life in her head while having sex with clients. What do we choose to 'see'? To hear? Comparison of the prostitution scenes and the scenes where natural, spontaneous sexuality is apparent or implied, coupled with the 'selection' process we make when determining how we 'see' things, might reflect not only on how men and women (or any two people) can be 'in tune' – but also, with different emphases affecting the data-perception process, the very gender difference apparent when we look at how men and women might typically view things differently. There might be life apart from the diegetic one. We might choose what we perceive to be 'real' – but ultimately we make our own reality.

Dehumanization occurs when a person is not able to order their life according to their will. At that point, the individual has become a slave to the senses rather than their master. One might not be able to change the territory in which one finds oneself – but, by standing back far enough to discern the wood from the trees, one might at least find new perceptions that can be converted to reality.
2012-10-12
Jean Luc's interest in Prostitution
The foremost image in this film, which I find difficult to erase from my memory, is that of the 2 prostitutes, 1 john and 1 lackey set up. How original. It made me think of "Vivre sa vie" and then "2 or 3 things I know about her". Granted these are the only Godard films I've seen, but the sex trade theme is definitely prevalent.

In the earlier films, of course, it's toned down but one of the things they all have in common is the coldness of the transaction and the purely business way that they are carried out. It almost seems as though they have not been directed by a man, but a woman.

All in all, I find Jean Luc, one of the more honest and clear thinking directors of not only our generation, but any generation. Can't wait to see more.
2006-04-12
a strange and powerful work of art
Godard's splendid return to more "mainstream" cinema is a powerful meditation on love and (mostly) sex. It is often disturbing and profound, as well as silly and darkly comic. Some of the humor seems juvenile, but it is hilarious nonetheless, and beyond the dirty jokes is a masterful avant garde film that is philosophical, sadistic, sexy, and deeply emotional.

Godard has always been a highly ambitious filmmaker, and to this day his works proceed to increase in experimentation, and "Every Man for Himself" certainly displays his ability to have fun with film. Behind the unique synthesized soundtrack running throughout this film, various experimental visuals are utilized, particularly the effect of Godard randomly pausing on certain frames, creating a slow motion-esque look.

Complex issues and characters populate this dense, yet brief masterwork of French cinema. The ending is one of simultaneous happiness and tragedy, as it the situation ends a slightly ambiguous, yet hugely fitting note as the main "lovers" walk away from the viewers, and the film.
2017-05-22
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