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How Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard Immortalized Each Other (Guest Column)

How Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard Immortalized Each Other (Guest Column)

With the passing of Anna Karina, a curtain has fallen on the French New Wave, that fabled cinematic movement that brought fame to the man who made her name, Jean-Luc Godard. Yes, Godard is still with us, as is “Breathless” star Jean-Paul Belmondo (practically the last of the living New Wave legends), but his moviemaking compatriots François Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Jacques Demy, and, most recently, Agnès Varda are gone, and with them the spirit of playful abandon that Karina perfectly embodied.

In such Godard classics as “A Woman is a Woman,” “Pierrot le Fou,” “Alphaville,” and “Made in USA,” Karina appeared as a gamine and a femme fatale at the same time. Not since Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich had there been a director-and-star tandem so potent. The closest to it would be Philippe Garrel’s partnership with Nico — although the avant-garde blue plate specials made by

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