London-based Emily Wang gained minor notoriety from her VJ-ing on cable television. She is now more renowned for being the longtime girlfriend and pseudo manager of rock musician Lee Hauser... See full summary »
An Italian woman who lives in London has a passionate affair with a former financial big gun. She also had a second lover, a contract killer who has to kill the big gun. Her second lover's ... See full summary »
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In late nineteenth century Charante, Protestant minister Jean Barnery causes local disquiet when he arranges a separation from his obsessive wife - and more talk when he decides to take her... See full summary »
Gilles and Christine a boy and a girl live in the outskirts of Paris, their families are ineffective and distant and they lead a purposeless life. They steal some records in a supermarket ... See full summary »
Tina is a young warehousewoman in a supermarket. She is in love with Fred but still lives at her mother Nadine's. When Nadine dies, Tina looks for meeting her father Ludovic, who she never ... See full summary »
French filmmaker René Vidal was once a renowned director, but most see his career on a quick downward slide based on his last several films. In Paris, he is just starting to film his latest movie, a remake of Les vampires (1915), and has hired Hong Kong based Chinese actress Maggie Cheung as the title lead, "Irma Vep" (an anagram for "vampire"), despite she knowing no French and she not being an obvious choice to most. Maggie has never worked with Vidal before and knows little about his movies, but many of his primarily French crew are part of his regular stable. As such, Maggie may become isolated among the cast and crew, unless there are those who bring her into their English conversations, they who may have somewhat ulterior motives in doing so. There are also factions within the cast and crew, who, based on their history, have a poisoned sense of what is going on. With Vidal, he is dealing with some personal issues while he tries to regain his film making form. He may transfer his... Written by
...In which Olivier Assayas tries out a bunch of different ideas with no cohesion
This is a very solid film, make no mistake, but it tends to play more like a testing ground for various elements of Olivier Assayas' overall style, particularly those which he would later explore more fully in his later masterpiece "Demonlover", than any sort of cohesive narrative statement. It's not very often that a film strikes me as not having enough of a plot, but in the case of this there did seem to be a certain irrelevance to it all. There's nothing really new about the "making a movie" movie, and this doesn't add much to the mix, although i do think it is well done for what it is, and occasionally even approaches a sort of proto-"Lost in Translation", with Paris standing in for Tokyo and Maggie Cheung's Asian "otherness" replacing Bill Murray's fish-out-of-water Americanness. But the film is never really focused enough to compare in any significant way to that film. "Irma Vep" really only comes alive when Assayas gets away from his nagging tendency towards a certain French talkiness and indulges in the moments of pure visual cinema that make up the other half of his general approach (and which seem to be invested with much more enthusiasm here) , such as the scene scored to Sonic Youth's "Tunic" (another foreshadowing of "Demonlover"). Certainly he does have a way with capturing pretty little images of neon lights reflecting through car windows and things like that, enough that I can acknowledge he is definitely a talented filmmaker, but within this film he never quite finds the correct way to integrate his little artistic flourishes into the whole, and overall the film feels more like a collection of separate ideas than a cohesive statement of any kind.
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