Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beauty Icon Of The Month: ANNA KARINA

Anna Karina (born Hanne Karin Blarke Bayer on 22 September 1940) is a Danish film actress, director, and screenwriter who has spent most of her working life in France. Karina is known as a muse of the director, Jean-Luc Godard,one of the pioneers of theFrench New Wave. Her notable collaborations with Godard include The Little Soldier (1960), A Woman Is a Woman (1961), Vivre sa vie(1962), and Alphaville (1965). With A Woman Is a Woman, Karina won the Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival

Early life
Karina's mother was a dress shop owner and her father was a ship's captain who left the family a year after she was born. She lived with her maternal grandparents for three years, until she was four. She spent the next four years in foster care when she returned to live with her mother. She has described her childhood as "terribly wanting to be loved", and as a child made numerous attempts to run away from home.
She began her career in Denmark, where she sang in cabarets and worked as a model playing in commercials. At age 14, she appeared in a Danish short film by Ib Schedes, which won a prize at Cannes/  She studied dance and painting in Denmark and for a while made a living selling her paintings. In 1958, after a row with her mother, she hitch-hiked to Paris.

Career/Modeling and meeting with Godard

Karina's first film appearance, although uncredited, dates from 1959, when a soap advertisement in which she appeared as a model was included near the end of Guy Debord's On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Unity of Time. The image was accompanied by Debord's voice-over: "The advertisements during intermissions are the truest reflection of an intermission from life."

Karina was 17 when she arrived in Paris—indigent and unable to speak French. Living off the streets she got a break while sitting at the cafe Les Deux Magots. She was approached by a woman from an advertisement agency who asked her to do some photos. She became a successful fashion model, meeting Pierre Cardin and Coco Chanel. Chanel helped her devise her professional name, Anna Karina.

Jean-Luc Godard, then a film critic for Cahiers du cinéma, first saw Karina in a series of Palmolive ads in a bathtub covered in soapsuds. He was casting his debut feature film, Breathless. He offered her a small part in the film, but she refused when he mentioned that there would be a nude scene. When Godard queried her refusal, referring to the supposed nudity in the Palmolive ads, she is said to have replied "Are you mad? I was wearing a bathing suit in those ads — the soapsuds went up to my neck. It was in your mind that I was undressed."
In the end, the character Godard reserved for Karina did not appear in the film. The next year, however, Godard offered her a role in Le Petit Soldat (1960). Karina, who was still under 21, had to persuade her estranged mother to sign the contract for her.


Karina won the Best Actress Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1961 for her interpretation of the character Angela in the film A Woman Is a Woman.  Her acting career was not, however, limited to Godard's films, and she went on to a successful collaboration with other well-known directors. Her role in The Nun (1966) directed by Jacques Rivette is considered by some as her best performance. She also acted in Luchino Visconti's The Stranger.

Other notable films include: George Cukor's Justine (1969), Tony Richardson's Laughter in the Dark (1969), Christian de Chalonge's L'Alliance (1970), Andre Delvaux's Rendezvous a Bray (1971), The Salzburg Connection (1972), Franco Brusati's Bread and Chocolate (1973) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Chinese Roulette (1976). In 1972 she set up a production company named Raska for her film-directing debut Vivre Ensemble, in which she also acted and which was released in 1973. She wrote and acted in Last Song in 1987. She has since appeared in Haut, Bas, Fragile (1995) by Jacques Rivette and sang in The Truth About Charlie.

Singing career

Karina has also maintained an important singing career. At the end of the 1960s, she scored a major hit with "Sous le soleil exactement" and "Roller Girl" by Serge Gainsbourg. Both songs are taken from the TV musical comedy Anna (1967), by the film director Pierre Koralnik, in which she sings seven songs alongside Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Brialy. She subsequently recorded an album, Une histoire d'amour, with Philippe Katerine, which was followed up by a concert tour. Karina has also made several appearances on television. In 2005 she released Chansons de films, a collection of songs sung in movies.

Karina wrote, directed and starred in Victoria, a musical road movie filmed in MontrealQuebec and Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean in 2007. A review by Richard Kuipers in Variety praised it as "a pleasant gambol through the backwoods of Quebec...Given plenty of room to work off each other, the members of this fine ensemble keep pic on track...Big plus is the music and heartfelt songs by Philippe Katerine".

Personal life

Karina and Godard married on 3 March 1961, during the shooting of A Woman Is a Woman, and divorced in 1965. After Godard, she was married to scriptwriter-actor Pierre Fabre(1968–1973), actor-director Daniel Duval (1978–1981) and director Dennis Berry (1982–1994).

Same birthday as actress Catherine Oxenberg.
Has written three novels.
Appeared in a short film when she was 14, which later won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Studied dance and painting in Denmark.
Fluent in five languages French, Danish, English, Swedish and Italian.
In 1972 set up a production company named Raska.
Recorded the soundtrack album for her TV musical film Anna (1967) (TV) with songs written by Serge Gainsbourg and accompanied by her co-star and friend Jean-Claude Brialy on the vocals in a couple of songs.
Companion of Ulli Lommel in the late 1970s. The couple made few movies together, including Rainer Werner Fassbinder 's Chinese Roulette(1976) and Monkey Business (1978), directed by Lommel.
In the 1980s, she lived in Los Angles for a while where she met her fourth husband, Dennis Berry.
Husband Dennis Berry was once married to Jean Seberg (1972-1978) whom Anna's first husband, Jean-Luc Godard, directed in Breathless(1960) (aka Breathless).
Member of the jury at the Montreal International Film Festival in 2005.
Made 8 movies with ex-husband Jean-Luc GodardVivre Sa Vie (1962), A Woman Is a Woman (1961), The Oldest Profession (1967), Pierrot le Fou (1965), Le Petit Soldat (1963), Made in U.S.A (1966), Band of Outsiders (1964) and Alphaville (1965).
Daughter-in-law of John Berry.
Personal Quotes
Some people have scripts and scripts and lots of scripts, and they change it all the time. Even though [Jean-Luc Godard] had no script, he had it all in his heart and in his brain. He can explain it to you in a way where even if you get the dialogue five minutes before in the morning and you have to shoot it later, at least you have an idea about it, because he takes his time to explain things and to do the movements with you. There was always lots of rehearsal.

When I had my cover on Elle magazine, everyone wanted to work with me, you know... I earned a lot of money in six months, because I did Coca-Cola for England, Palmolive, Pepsodent for the Germans. Everything I could find. So that's how Jean-Luc Godard saw me, because on one side of the Champs Elysées I was selling one brand of soap, and on the other I was selling Palmolive.

SELECTED FILMS:  1962- Cleo From 5 to 7
                               1962- She'll Have To Go
                               1964- Bande a Part
                               1964- La Ronde
                               1965- Aphavill        
                               1967- Anna
                               1969- Before Winter Comes
                               1969- Justine
                               1972- The Salzburg Connection

PIERROT LE FOU: Movie Trailer. Watch more top selected videos about: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Luc Godard


  1. Mike Mr. make-up, As a make up artist myself I am constantly looking for inspiration, in nature, sky scapes, in NYC its everywhere. I stumbled upon your blog after searching for more pics if MY latest muse "go to girl" Anna Karina. One of the few muses that has defined my style as a make up artist and a woman. I commend you on how seamlessly beautiful you portrayed my latest inspiration, full of facts while eloquently displaying her beauty in that juxtaposition of vulnerability and strength. Thank you.


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