Press release: In a rare visit to the United States, screen idol Anna Karina, a darling of the French New Wave, will appear in person at tributes in Los Angeles and New York City. Karina will make an appearance at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, where she will be interviewed following the U.S. premiere of a new restoration of Jean-Luc Godard’s offbeat crime comedy, Band of Outsiders, in which she stars with Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur.
Karina will also appear at L.A.’s Cinefamily on April 29, followed by a three-borough New York tour: BAM Cinematek, Brooklyn (May 3), The Museum of the Moving Image, Queens (May 4), and Film Forum, Manhattan (May 6), where she will help kick off a one-week run (May 6-12) of the Band of Outsiders restoration.
Along with Band, Karina’s collaborations with boyfriend/husband/ex-husband Godard (they married in 1961 and divorced in 1965) include Le Petit Soldat, Vivre Sa Vie, Alphaville, Pierrot Le Fou, Made In USA, and A Woman is a Woman, which won her a Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival. “Anna and Jean-Luc,” a one-week festival of their films together, will be shown at Film Forum as a sidebar to the Band of Outsiders run.
In addition to her films with Godard, Karina has appeared in Visconti’s The Stranger, Rivette’s The Nun, George Cukor’s Justine, Tony Richardson’s Laughter in the Dark, Fassbinder’s Chinese Roulette, and many other films.
Born in Denmark, Anna arrived in Paris at age 17, unable to speak a word of French. Sitting at the café Les Deux Magots, she was spotted by a woman from an advertising agency, which led to a successful career as a fashion model. A picture of Karina in a bubble bath in an ad for Palmolive soap was seen by young film critic Godard, then casting his first feature, Breathless. Offered a part that would include a nude scene, Karina turned him down, but then accepted a part in his second feature, Le Petit Soldat.
Karina has also had an important singing career, first scoring hits with two songs by Serge Gainsbourg. In 2007, she wrote, directed and starred in the musical road movie Victoria, filmed in Montreal. She is also the author of four novels: Vivre ensemble (1973), Golden City (1983), On n’achète pas le soleil (1968), and Jusqu-au bout du hasard (1998).