Anna Karina, Queen of the French New Wave Movement
Recently, I educated myself on Anna Karina and the French New Wave film movement. While I had seen a few films from this movement, I never realized it was a 'movement' in both film and style. In addition, I had never even heard of Anna Karina.
So, who is Anna Karina and what is all the fuss about? Well, to understand the charming intrigue of French new wave film actress Anna Karina, you will have to do a little study by reading this book, Googling, and renting some French films. For now, I'll give you the CliffsNotes version.
Anna Karina possessed a look all of her own; black cat eyes, style, and she took disheveled hair and bangs to a new level. She owned her look like a boss.
Her casual fashion style and sophistication echoed Audrey Hepburn in many ways. This, and her sweet playful charm were what made her the much loved muse of this era. This may have been what prompted Jean-Luc Godard, then, a film critic for Cahiers du Cinéma, to reach out and ask her to star in his debut feature film, Breathless, but seeing her in her first acting role, a Palmolive soap commercial , may have inspired him...maybe just a little. She refused the role because she did not want to be filmed nude and wanted to be taken seriously as an actress. I liked her so much more after reading this. Anna was not entirely unknown at the time; the year before she was discovered by Coco Chanel and landed on the cover of Elle.
Godard must have been intrigued by her modesty and principles because he reached out to her again. The rest is history. She would go on to marry and make 17 films with Godard. It wasn't exactly a fairy tale but definitely a love story.
Anna's unique fashion and beauty sense are admired by many. She has seen a recent revival in popularity among adoring millennials. Her make-up was done in a sultry way that many mimic today. Yet, she balanced it with such an angelic innocence—which is not easy to pull off! This is why she will always be relevant, especially as an icon of the French new wave movement.