Anna Karina  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Anna Karina (born Hanna Karin Blarke Bayer September 22, 1940) is a Danish born film actress who works in France.

Early life

Her father was a ship's captain. Before Anna turned one, he had left her mother. After being raised by her maternal grandparents, where she stayed until the age of four, she spent time in and out of foster homes, before returning to live with her mother from the age of eight. She has described her childhood as "terribly wanting to be loved" and made numerous attempts as a child to run away from home.


She began her career in Denmark, where she sang in cabarets and worked as a model playing in commercials and short films.

At age 14, she appeared on a Danish short film which won a prize at Cannes.

Study dance and painting in Denmark and for a while made a living selling her paintings before moving to Paris.

She came to Paris in 1958 at age 17 where she met Pierre Cardin and Coco Chanel, who convinced her to change her name to Anna Karina.

As a rising fashion model, she was noticed by Jean-Luc Godard, then a film critic for Cahiers du cinéma. Her first film appearance, although unauthorized, 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." According to Godard's biographer, Colin Macabe, Godard was in the middle of casting his debut feature film, A bout de souffle, that same year when he saw Karina in a series of Palmolive ads in a bath covered in soapsuds. He offered her an important part in the film, which she turned down because of a nude scene. When Godard questioned her about her refusal, referring to the supposed nudity in the Palmolive ads, she is said to have replied "Are you mad? I was fully clothed in those ads — the soapsuds went up to my neck. It was in your mind that I was undressed." The character Godard had reserved for her did not appear in the film. However, she eventually accepted his offer to play a major role in Le Petit Soldat (1960).

Godard and Karina married on 3 March 1961, during the shooting of Une femme est une femme, and divorced in 1967.

Karina was awarded best actress at the Berlin Film Festival in 1961 for her interpretation of the character Angela in the film Une femme est une femme. 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 Suzanne Simonin, la Religieuse de Diderot (1967) by Jacques Rivette is considered by some as her best performance. She also acted in Luchino Visconti's L'Etranger.

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 set up a production company named Raska for her 1973’s film directing debut Vivre Ensemble.

In 1973 she made her directing debut in Vivre Ensemble in which she also acted. She wrote and acted in Last Song in 1987. More recently, she appeared in Haut, Bas, Fragile (1995) by Jacques Rivette and sang in The Truth About Charlie.

She has also appeared on stage, in Rivette's adaptation of "La Religieuse", "Pour Lucrece", "Toi et Tes Nuages", Françoise Sagan's "Il Fait Beau Jour et Nuit" and Ingmar Bergman's "Apres Le Repitition."

Karina has also maintained an important singing career. At the beginning of the 1960s, she scored a major hit with "Sous le soleil exactement" and "Roller Girl", both songs taken from the musical comedy "Anna" by Serge Gainsbourg in which she sings seven songs alongside Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Brialy. More recently, she recorded an album entitled "Une histoire d'amour" with Philippe Katerine, which was followed up by a concert tour. Karina has also written three novels and made several appearances on television. In 2005 she released "Chansons de films", a collection of songs sung in movies. She is scheduled to write, direct and star in "Dame de Coeur", a musical road movie to be filmed in Montreal.

After Godard, she was married thrice more: to scriptwriter-actor Pierre Fabre (1968-1973), actor-director Daniel Duval (1978-1981) and director Dennis Berry (1982- Present), ex-husband of Jean Seberg and son of American expatriate director John Berry.

Anna is fluent in Danish, French, English, Swedish and Italian.

Has written two books one in 1983 and another one in 1988.

Filmography, as actress, includes

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Anna Karina" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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