My Life To Live Script

Voila! The My Life To Live transcript is  here for all you quotes spouting fans of the movie directed by Jean-Luc Godard movie starring Anna Karina..  I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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A film in twelve scenes

Lend yourself to others and give yourself to yourself. Montaigne

A café. Nana wants to leave Paul. The pin-table

Do you really like the guy?

I don't know. I wonder what I'm thinking about?

Has he more money than me? -What do you care?

What's the matter?

Nothing; I wanted to be very precise

I didn't know the best way to say it

Or, rather, I did know, but I don't any more

Just when I should know, too. Does it never happen to you?

Don't you ever talk about anything but yourself?

You are horrible

I'm not horrible, Nana, I'm sad

I'm not sad, Paul. I'm horrible

Don't just parrot lines. This isn't a stage

You never do as I ask; you always want me to do what you want

Anyway, I'm fed up. I want to die

I mean it

Parrot talk

Loving you is exhausting. I'm always having to beg

I exist too. You say I'm cruel, but it's you

Why do you say that? It isn't true. When? On Sunday evening?

You know when... I begged you to introduce me to that man

You did it on purpose

Yes, I did

I despise you

I'd just betray you again

Don't say that

I thought it was important to talk to you, but I don't any more

We might have got together again

But the more we talk, the less the words mean

If I make it on the stage, it won't be thanks to you

Acting isn't everything

You, too! Why do you say that?

If it's what I want, why should you mind?

Someone may discover me one day

Well, don't give up

I haven't given up music. Not like your English lessons

I'm not giving up. That guy is going to take pictures of me

Maybe I'll get into films

That'll be the day

You are horrible, Paul

You really are... it's always the same thing

You say you love me, but you don't think of me as someone special

I hardly love you any more, but I still think you're someone special

Where does saying that get you? I think everyone is the same

You don't approve of my working?

It's not really your scene

You're leaving me because I'm poor

When all's said and done, maybe

Have you got the photos you mentioned on the phone?

I forgot about them. They'll be ready at the end of the week

Is he all right, eating well?

He had earache, but the doctor said it was nothing

What's your job at Pathé-Marconi?

I sell records

Can you lend me 2,000 francs?

Out of the question

Your parents must be glad I've gone

They liked you

I bet!

What's that look for?


Let's not start quarreling again

Shall we have a play?

Got a coin? I only have one

Go on, you start

Those essays Dad's students write...

What about them?

He read us some wonderful efforts at dinner yesterday

They're just kids, they had to describe their favorite animals

One little girl of eight chose a bird

It went: "A bird is an animal with an inside and an outside

"Remove the outside, there's the inside

"Remove the inside and you see the soul"

The record shop. Two thousand francs. Nana lives her life

We're out of stock

Judy Garland?

Have you a guitar recording by Roméo...

What's his name? Raphaël Romero

Raphaël Romero on guitar

In the racks at the back

Is Rita still away?

I think she'll be back on Thursday

She owes me 2,000 francs

Lend me 2,000? -No way; I'm broke

Is it serious? -No, it's OK

That looks great

The story's dumb, but it's very well written

He gazed at the turquoise, star-laden sky, then turned to me

"As one who lives intensely, logically you..." I interrupted him

"You attach too much importance to logic"

For a few seconds I was filled with a bitter sense of triumph

Forgotten, my broken heart

Forgotten, too, the need to put on a brave face

Yes, a distinctly elegant way of escaping this dilemma

The concierge. Paul. The Passion of Joan of Arc. A journalist

Please give me my key

Oh, all right

Come on, give me that key!

I have the pictures

He doesn't look like me at all, he looks more like you

Coming to dinner? -No

I must go

Come and eat

I'm not hungry. I want to see a film. Goodbye

We are to prepare you for death

So soon?

What death?

At the stake

How can you still believe you were sent by God?

God knows where he leads us, but we know the path of our journey

Yes, I'm his child

And the great victory?

It will be my martyrdom

And the deliverance?



I've said goodbye

I bought your movie ticket

Too bad

Didn't we have a date?

I wondered if you would come

Why, am I late?

A little, but that's not why I wondered

Usually I'm very punctual

Eleven at night is very late

I thought you'd forgotten, too

What will you have?

Any rolls left?

A coffee, then

Was that a boyfriend of yours?

No, it was my brother

Have you many brothers?

Five brothers and three sisters

You're surprised? It's a fact

What's new since Wednesday?

Nothing much

Is that red car outside yours?

What is it? A Jaguar?

No, an Alfa Romeo. Are you interested in cars?

I don't know a thing about them

When shall we do those photographs?

Tell me, I told you I was willing

I'm only free on Sundays

I'm off to London on Sunday

Well then, I don't know

How about now? Are you tired?

If I say no, you won't think I'm awful?

No, not at all

Do you really think I could get into films?

I think so. Look, I've brought you a composite sheet

I'd like to do something like that

What's it for?

You send them out to people in films

and a few days later maybe they phone you

I'm a bit shy about undressing

It's nothing much, you know

Can you lend me 2,000 francs?

I would, but I haven't got it

Come on, I'm tired

What about my pictures?

You'll stay with me, then?

The police. Nana is questioned

Born April 15th, 1940, at Flexburg, Moselle

No fixed address. Is that right?

Well, what happened?

Well, I was walking down the street and

I saw a woman buying a magazine

Well, then... she took some money out of her bag

She didn't notice she'd dropped 1,000 francs

So then... I pretended to buy a magazine, too

and I put my foot on her 1,000 francs

She left and...

And she noticed?

She came back towards me and

she stared into my eyes for a long time

So then I gave her back the money

Then why did she bring this charge?

I don't know. I think it was very mean of her

Have you no one to go to in Paris?

Friends, sometimes



Why not ask for an advance?

I have already, too often

What are you going to do?

I don't know... I...

I... is someone else

The boulevards. The first man. The room

How about it?

Is it here?

You've been here before?

Anyone there?

Room 27 or 28?

Room 27


There's never an ashtray

How much do you want?

I don't know, it's up to you

I don't know

Four thousand francs?

You owe me 1,000

I have no change

Never mind, keep it

Take everything off, though

Why not on the mouth?

Meeting Yvette. A café in the suburbs

Raoul. Gunshots in the street

Yvette, how are you?

I hardly recognized you

How are you? -And you?

I'm getting by

So am l. -Good for you

Why? -I thought that...

Why are you here? To dance?

Shall we have a drink?

How's Raymond?

I'll tell you all about it

What happened?

Life's so hard

I'd like to get away, escape to the tropics

Escape's a pipe dream

That's life

I'll be back in a minute

Well, tell me

One evening, Raymond

came home with railway tickets to Brest

He said he had a job, so we all moved

and went to live in a hotel by the harbor

I saw nothing of him

He was "working"

I'd take the children out, buy them ice cream

I worried

because I couldn't figure how he earned his money

One evening, after three weeks

he just never came back

I had to manage on my own

with the children my mother-in-law didn't want to look after

Gradually, I became a prostitute; it was easier

Then, two years later I went to the movies one evening

and saw him acting in an American film

And now?

Everything's fine

But not much fun

It's depressing, but that's not my fault

I think we're always responsible for our actions. We're free

I raise my hand - I'm responsible

I turn my head - I'm responsible

I am unhappy - I'm responsible

I smoke - I'm responsible

I shut my eyes - I'm responsible

I forget I'm responsible, but I am

I told you there's no escape

Everything is good

You only have to take an interest in things

After all, things are what they are

A message is a message

Plates are plates

Men are men

And life is life

The boy I greeted wants to meet you. Do you mind?

I don't mind

She's no film star, this baby of mine

She works on the factory assembly line

We live in one room down by the railway track

With a lovely view of the warehouse out back

No Riviera for us on our holidays

No family with a fond Daddy who plays

But the light that shines in my baby's eyes

Is more to me than the stars in the sky

And when the rest of the town starts to doze

The late evening sun in our window glows

We whisper in the secrecy of our own four walls

And make love together as darkness falls

Is she a lady or a tramp?

Insult her. If she's a tramp, she'll get angry; if a lady, she'll smile

We'll see

Are you a friend of Yvette's?

I already know you

You don't. -It was three months ago

Boulevard Saint-Germain, looking at photos

That's true

Why did you deny it? You parrot anything

You're ridiculous. Why are you looking at me like that?

You look stupid, and your hair looks awful

Wait, I've got something to tell you

My eyes

The letter. Raoul again. The Champs Elysées

Dear Madame, a friend who worked for you gave me your address

I would like to come and work for you

I am 22

I think I am pretty

My height is...

My hair is short

but grows very fast

I enclose a photo and...

So it's you?

The classic letter

Yes, it's me

How did you find me?

I followed you. I was in my car and I saw you come in here

You've got nerve

No, you are very beautiful

You disappeared fast the other day

When was that?

When the crook was shot; you just vanished

I don't think they were crooks, it was some political stuff

Oh, well...

In any case, I didn't mean that you weren't brave

I was just making conversation

What do you think of me?

I think you are very good

You have great goodness in your eyes

I see, I didn't understand; it's a funny thing to say


I wasn't expecting a Catholic answer. What I meant was:

Do you place me in a special category of women?

Do you like being special?


No reason

For me, there are three types of girls

Some have one expression, some have two, some have three

Is the address from Yvette?

Are you serious?


I want to earn more money

I can help you earn even more here

Really? I'm willing

Why haven't you tried to get into films?

I did. Two years ago, I wanted to make it on the stage

I was in Pacifico at the Châtelet

Once I was in a film with Eddie Constantine

I'm telling you my life story. How awful

I'm a friend

Give me a smile. -I don't feel like it

Shall I come with you?

When do I start?

When the city lights go up, the streetwalker's endless beat begins

Afternoons. Money. Sinks. Pleasure. Hotels

What is the routine?

The prostitute trades on her charms

to build up a good clientele and establish lucrative conditions

Must she be beautiful?

No, although beauty is an important factor in a prostitute's career

It attracts the attention of the pimp

since physical allure can be an immense source of profit

Must she register?

Since the law of April 13th, 1946

prostitutes are subject to medical but not police supervision

The 1946 law and decree 2,253 of November 5th, 1947

established the National Sanitary Register for all women

shown by conclusive evidence

to be leading a life of prostitution

But what must I do?

Everywhere the procedure is the same

By her dress, attitude and make-up

the prostitute indicates her trade

Sometimes, in defiance of the law

she will appeal directly to the client

What do I charge?

From 300 to 15,000 francs

for a meeting varying from a few minutes to an hour

The rate for a whole night ranges from 5,000 to 50,000 francs

Can I go anywhere I like?

Controls have been attempted. In Paris, for instance

a police regulation of August 25th 1958

forbids loitering with intent

at certain hours, in the Bois de Boulogne

and around the Champs Elysées

Do I keep all the money?

A daily tax is agreed

Around the Champs Elysées

20,000 to 30,000 francs a day

Payable weekly

Do I have a room?

Hotels usually change the towels, not sheets

Beds are often made just with a bottom sheet

The police?

They conduct raids, interrogations

Anyone infringing regulations is sent for medical tests

Can I drink in a café?

A drunken prostitute is a liability

undesirable because she creates scenes

If I'm pregnant?

People think prostitutes always have abortions

That's not true

They do try to avoid pregnancy, by chemical or other means

But when pregnancy is confirmed, abortions are rare

Must I accept anyone?

The prostitute must always be at the client's disposal

She must accept anyone who pays

That one... that one...

Are there clients every day?

Lower-grade prostitutes

average five to eight clients a day

They earn 4,000 to 8,000 a day, but some earn extraordinary sums

Sixty clients a day is not unheard of on Saturdays or holidays

A young man. Luigi. Nana wonders whether she's happy

What about days off?

Usually after the medical check

Her man usually takes her out

often to see her child in the country

Afterwards, they go to a restaurant or a movie

Is Luigi here? -He's upstairs

I'll be five minutes

The film's started, anyway

Any cigarettes?

What kind? -I just wanted to know

Any cigarettes? -They have them downstairs

How are you? -So-so

We were supposed to go to the movies

I'll cheer you up

I'll do the kid blowing up a balloon

You ought to be my man

Now will you let us talk?

The streets. A guy. Happiness is no fun

Inspector Fleytoux has bought a BMW

They could have supplied chairs

It's always like this

How much? -3,000. 5,000 if I undress

Just one more. -I must keep some

One of those, then? A little one. I'll be very nice

Do you come here often?

Haven't we met before? -Maybe

What's your name?

That's a nice name

Yes, I'm fond of it

What's your job?

I do advertising pictures

Is that like the films? -No, they're stills

I was in a film with Eddie Constantine

No Pity. Did you see it?

You don't talk. Are you romantic?

If you give me more, you can stay

You want a second girl? I'll see

Are you going? -Yes

Can you spare five minutes? -Ask Monique, she's in 41

What's up? -Nothing

They never work

See you on Tuesday

What are you doing? -I'm going down

Can you spare a moment? -How much?

Ask him. -All right

Room 45

Arrange it with her

What's your name? -Elizabeth, like the Queen of England

Shall I strip, too? -No, it's not worth it

So I'm to do nothing? -I don't know

Like that

Place du Châtelet. A stranger. Nana the unwitting philosopher

Mind if I look?

You look bored. -Not at all

What are you doing? -I'm reading

Will you buy me a drink? -If you like

Do you come here often? -Occasionally. I happened by

Why are you reading? -It's my job

It's odd

Suddenly I don't know what to say; it often happens to me

I know what I want to say. I think about whether it is what I mean

But when the moment comes to speak, I can't say it

Yes, of course

You've read The Three Musketeers?

I saw the film. Why?

Because in it, Porthos

this is really in Twenty Years Later

Porthos, tall, strong, a little stupid

he's never thought in his life

He has to place a bomb in a cellar to blow it up

He does it

He places the bomb, lights the fuse, then he runs away, of course

But suddenly he begins to think

What about? How it is possible to put one foot before the other?

You must have thought about that, too

So he stops running. He can't go on, he can't move forward

The bomb explodes, the cellar falls on him

He holds it up with his shoulders

But after a day, or maybe two, he is crushed to death

The first time he thought, it killed him

Why did you tell me that story?

No reason, just to talk

Why must one always talk?

Often one shouldn't talk, but live in silence

The more one talks, the less the words mean

Perhaps, but can one?

I don't know

I've found that we can't live without talking

I'd like to live without talking

Yes, it would be nice, wouldn't it?

Like loving one another more

But it isn't possible

But why? Words should express just what one wants to say

Do they betray us?

But we betray them, too

One should be able to express oneself

It has been done in writing

Think: someone like Plato

can still be understood - he can

Yet he wrote in Greek, 2,500 years ago

No one really knows the language, at least, not exactly

Yet something gets through, so we should be able to express ourselves

And we must

Why must we? To understand each other?

We must think, and for thought we need words

There's no other way to think

To communicate, one must talk; that is our life

Yes, but it is very difficult

I think life should be easy

Your talk of The Three Musketeers may make a good story

but it's terrible

Yes, but it's a pointer

I believe

one learns to talk well only when one has renounced life for a time

That's the price. -So, to speak is fatal?

Speaking is almost a resurrection in relation to life

Speech is another life from when one does not speak

So, to live in speech

one must pass through the death of life without speech

I may not be putting it clearly, but

there is a kind of ascetic rule that stops one from talking well

until one sees life with detachment

But one can't live everyday life with... I don't know

With detachment

We balance, that's why we pass from silence to words

We swing between the two because it's the movement of life

From everyday life one rises to a life we call superior

The thinking life

But this life presupposes one has killed the everyday

too elementary life

Then thinking and talking are the same thing?

So I believe

Plato said so; it's an old idea

One cannot distinguish the thought from the words that express it

An instant of thought can only be grasped through words

So one must talk and risk lying?

Lies, too, are part of our quest. Errors and lies are very similar

I don't mean ordinary lies

Iike I promise to come tomorrow, but I don't, as I didn't want to

You see, those are ploys

But a subtle lie is little different from an error

One searches and can't find the right word

That's why you didn't know what to say

You were afraid of not finding the right word. That's the explanation

How can one be sure of having found the right word?

One must work

It needs an effort

One must speak in a way that is right, doesn't hurt

says what has to be said, does what has to be done

without hurting or bruising

One must try to be in good faith

Someone told me: "There is truth in everything, even in error."

That's true. France didn't see it in the seventeenth century

They thought one could avoid error

and what's more, that one could live directly in the truth

It isn't possible

Hence Kant, Hegel, German philosophy: to bring us back to life

and make us see that we must pass through error to arrive at the truth

What do you think about love?

The body had to come into it

Leibnitz introduced the contingent

Contingent truths and necessary truths make up life

German philosophy showed us that

in life, one thinks with the servitudes and errors of life

One must manage with that, that's true

Shouldn't love be the only truth?

For that, love would always have to be true

Do you know anyone who knows at once what he loves?

No. When you're twenty you don't know

All you know are bits and pieces, you make arbitrary choices

Your "I love" is an impure affair

But to be completely at one with what you love, you need maturity

That means searching. This is the truth of life

That's why love is a solution, on condition that it is true

The young man again. The oval portrait. Raoul trades Nana

What shall we do today?

I don't know

Shall we go to the Luxembourg?

I think it's going to rain

I thus saw in vivid light a picture all unnoticed before

It was the portrait of a young girl just ripening into womanhood

I glanced at the painting hurriedly, and then closed my eyes

It was an impulsive movement to gain time for thought

to make sure that my vision had not deceived me

to calm and subdue my fancy for a more sober and more certain gaze

In a very few moments I again looked fixedly at the painting

The portrait, I have already said, was that of a young girl

It was a mere head and shoulders

done in what is technically termed a "vignette" manner

much in the style of the favorite heads of Sully

The arms, the bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair

melted imperceptibly into the vague yet deep shadow of the background

As a thing of art, nothing could be more admirable

than the painting itself

But it could have been neither the execution of the work

nor the immortal beauty of the countenance

which so vehemently moved me

Least of all could it have been that my fancy

had mistaken the head for that of a living person

At length, satisfied with the true secret of its effect

I fell back within the bed

I had found the spell of the picture

in a "Iife-likeliness" of expression

Is that book yours? -No, I found it here

Can I have one?

It's our story: a painter portraying his love

Shall I go on?

And in sooth some who beheld the portrait

spoke of its resemblance as of a mighty marvel

and a proof not less of the power of the painter

than of his deep love for her

whom he depicted so surpassingly well

But at length, as the labor drew nearer to its conclusion

there were admitted none into the turret

for the painter had grown wild with the ardor of his work

and turned his eyes from the canvas rarely, even to regard his wife

And he would not see that the tints which he spread upon the canvas

were drawn from the cheeks of her who sat beside him

And when many weeks had passed and but little remained to do

save one brush upon the mouth and one tint upon the eye

the spirit of the lady again flickered up

as the flame of the lamp

And then the brush was given and then the tint was placed

And for one moment, the painter stood entranced

before the work he had wrought

But in the next, while he yet gazed, he grew tremulous and aghast

and crying with a loud voice: "This is indeed Life itself!"

turned suddenly to regard his beloved:

She was dead

I'd like to go to the Louvre

No, I don't like looking at pictures

Why? Art and beauty are life

I adore you

And I love you

Why not come and live with me?

Yes. I'll tell Raoul it's all over

Let me put my coat on, at least!

Don't be silly

What did I do wrong?

You must take anyone who pays

Not anyone. Sometimes it's degrading

That's where you're wrong

Weekdays we're too busy to go to the movies

and on Sundays there's a line

Where to? -Their car

Why did you make me come?

You're going to stay with them


Well, are you going?

First the girl

First the money

Get the money

100,000 is missing

Don't think I won't shoot just because of the girl

You shoot, I forgot to load it


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