Irma Vep

Overview

Written and directed by Olivier Assayas, Irma Vep tells the story of has-been French filmmaker René Vidal Jean-Pierre Léaud. In an attempt to reinvigorate his career, Vidal decides to remake Les Vampires, the classic silent serial featuring the adventures of jewel thief Irma Vep. Playing herself, actress Maggie Cheung is cast as the lead, joining Vidal on a chaotic set where he gets little respect from the rest of the cast and crew. Speaking no French, Cheung finds herself fending off the advances of lesbian ...
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Overview

Written and directed by Olivier Assayas, Irma Vep tells the story of has-been French filmmaker René Vidal Jean-Pierre Léaud. In an attempt to reinvigorate his career, Vidal decides to remake Les Vampires, the classic silent serial featuring the adventures of jewel thief Irma Vep. Playing herself, actress Maggie Cheung is cast as the lead, joining Vidal on a chaotic set where he gets little respect from the rest of the cast and crew. Speaking no French, Cheung finds herself fending off the advances of lesbian costumer Zoé Nathalie Richard, sticking up for Vidal, and becoming so immersed in her role that she burgles the guests of her hotel while in costume.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
A sinuous dark comedy about cinema, Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep may cast a critical eye on the state of 1990s filmmaking and all that it implies, but the critic-turned-director also creates an artistically thrilling testament to the medium's luminous allure. Though Assayas references French cinema history through the conceit of remaking Les Vampires (1915) and featuring Jean-Pierre Léaud (aka Antoine Doinel) as embattled director Rene Vidal, the English-heavy dialogue and the casting of Hong Kong star Maggie Cheung suggest that the fictional production's maladies are more global in nature. Shot in under a month, Irma Vep's restless style aptly evokes the production's (and Vidal's) implosion under the weight of commercial imperatives, petty power struggles, and misplaced egos, while Cheung's fabulous cat-suited presence renders her a model of elusive star desirability. Punctuated by glimpses of Vidal's dailies, Irma Vep's aborted Les Vampires seems like an artistic lost cause -- until its final, dazzling five minutes reveal how much creative life still potentially percolates through the art form. Though less than adored in France, Irma Vep won ardent fans on the international festival circuit, confirming Assayas' place in French cinema's 1990s renaissance.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/1999
  • UPC: 720917013527
  • Original Release: 1996
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Lorber
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Maggie Cheung Maggie
Jean-Pierre Léaud Rene Vidal
Nathalie Richard Zoe
Antoine Basler Journalist Who Loves John Woo
Nathalie Boutefeu Laure
Lou Castel Jose Mirano
Alex Descas Desormeaux
Dominique Faysse Maite
Arsinée Khanjian American Woman
Bulle Ogier Mireille
Pierre Amzallag Emergency Doctor
Françoise Clavel Rene's Wife
Balthazar Clémenti Robert, Assistant
Lara Cowez Script Supervisor
Dominique Cuny Grip
Jessica Doyle Jessica, Roland's Friend
Sandra Faure Sex Shop Salesperson
Catherine Ferny Policewoman
Maryel Ferraud Make-up Woman
Jacques Fieschi Roland
Filip Forgeau Camera Operator
Nicolas Giraudin Unit Manager
Françoise Guglielmi pr
Valérie Guy Valérie, In Mireille's Apartment
Odile Horion Zoé's Assistant
Laurent Jacquet Electrician
Bernard Kissile Markus
Françoise-Renaud Labarthe TV Cameraman
Philippe Landoulsi Inspector
Estelle Larrivaz Switchboard Operator
Alain Martin Boy At "Café Des Oiseaux"
Willy Martin Bellboy
Smail Mekki Kermor, Unit Manager
Maurice Najman Maurice, Roland's Friend
Yann Richard Kevin
Guy-Patrick Sainderi TV Dignitary
Jérôme Simonin Property Man
Olivier Torres Ferdinand Moreno
Alexandra Yonnet Lili, Markus' Friend
Technical Credits
Olivier Assayas Director, Screenwriter
Pierre Amzallag Casting
Luc Barnier Editor
Sylvie Barthet Production Manager
Tina Baz Editor
Georges Benayoun Producer
Françoise Clavel Costumes/Costume Designer
Alice de Andrade Asst. Director
Grégoire Delage Special Effects
Jessica Doyle Costumes/Costume Designer
William Flageollet Sound Mixer
Éric Gautier Cinematographer
Françoise Guglielmi Executive Producer
Michel Julienne Consultant/advisor
Françoise-Renaud Labarthe Art Director, Asst. Director
Marie Lecoeur Editor
Laurent Levy Special Effects
Olivier Mariangeon Special Effects
Eric Michon Musical Direction/Supervision
Isabelle Nyssen Makeup
Marie-Christine Ratel Sound Editor
Philipe Richard Score Composer
Nancy Tong Makeup
Olivier Zeninski Special Effects
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