MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 549 this week

Irma Vep (1996)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  30 April 1997 (USA)
6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,141 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 46 critic

A Chinese movie actress, in France to star in a remake of "Les Vampires", finds petty intrigues and clashing egos on the set.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 27 Jul 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 08 Jul 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 21 Jan 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 20 Sep 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Irma Vep" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Irma Vep (1996)

Irma Vep (1996) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Irma Vep.
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Demonlover (2002)
Thriller | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two corporations compete for illicit 3D manga pornography, sending spies to infiltrate each other's operations.

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Connie Nielsen, Gina Gershon, Chloë Sevigny
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A story about the transition from late youth to early maturity, the film follows several friends and lovers as they come to make decisions on how to live their lives--getting a job more in ... See full summary »

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Virginie Ledoyen, François Cluzet
Boarding Gate (2007)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Asia Argento, Michael Madsen, Kelly Lin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the months after the heady weeks of May '68, a group of young Europeans search for a way to continue the revolution believed to be just beginning.

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Clément Métayer, André Marcon, Lola Créton
Les vampires (1915)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires.

Director: Louis Feuillade
Stars: Musidora, Édouard Mathé, Marcel Lévesque
Disorder (1986)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Wadeck Stanczak, Ann-Gisel Glass, Lucas Belvaux
A New Life (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Sophie Aubry, Judith Godrèche, Bernard Giraudeau
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Adrien is 19 years old. He has not met his father, Clément for 4 years. Adrien returns home and the two try to better understand each other... See full synopsis »

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Judith Godrèche, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Thomas Langmann
L'eau froide (1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Virginie Ledoyen, Cyprien Fouquet, László Szabó
Noise II (2006)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Alla, Jeanne Balibar, Afel Bocoum
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director: Isaac Julien
Stars: Maggie Cheung, Fagen Gong, Jennifer Lim
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Augustin Dos Santos is back. He still wants to be an actor and, this time, he moves to the Chinese borough in Paris because he has decided to play in kung-fu movies. But poor Augustin has a... See full summary »

Director: Anne Fontaine
Stars: Jean-Chrétien Sibertin-Blanc, Maggie Cheung, Darry Cowl
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maggie
...
René Vidal
Nathalie Richard ...
Zoé
Antoine Basler ...
Journalist
Nathalie Boutefeu ...
Laure
Alex Descas ...
Desormeaux
Dominique Faysse ...
Maïté
...
L'américaine
Bernard Nissile ...
Markus
Olivier Torres ...
Ferdinand / Moreno
Bulle Ogier ...
Mireille
...
José Mirano
Jacques Fieschi ...
Roland
Estelle Larrivaz ...
La standardiste
Balthazar Clémenti ...
Robert, assistant
Edit

Storyline

Rene Vidal, a director in decline, decides to remake Louis Feuillade's silent serial "Les Vampires." Believing no French actress can match Musidora as Irma Vep (an anagram for vampire), he casts Hong Kong action heroine Maggie Cheung, though she speaks no French. On the chaotic set, she's aided by Zoe, the wardrobe mistress with a crush on her; she defends Vidal to a Parisian journalist who trashes all French film and praises John Woo and Schwarzenegger; she befriends Vidal when he goes over the edge; and, in costume, she breaks into a hotel suite to steal jewels as her victim talks on the phone. We also watch the making, the rushes, and the remains of Vidal's unfinished film. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vampire  »

Box Office

Gross:

$191,164 (USA) (8 August 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is the anagram of "vampire". See more »

Goofs

After René says, "respect the silence" to Maggie, he speaks to a woman and takes a drink from a big plastic Coke bottle. He screws the cap on, then hands her the bottle. She turns around, and the cap is missing. See more »

Connections

References Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Soukora
Written by Ali Farka Touré
Performed by Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder
Courtesy of Hannibal Records, a Rykodisc Label and World Circuit Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Maggie Cheung and the embers of the French Avant-Garde
8 October 2004 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

Irma Vep is a film about film-making, an insightful and disturbing film which delivers some beautiful voyeuristic glimpses of vampirism, realist cinema, gritty black-and-white cine-retro and the old men who were once the chic of the French avant-garde film clique.

IMDb says: "Rene Vidal, a director in decline, decides to remake Louis Feuillade's silent serial Les Vampires" but this summary does not mention the real star of the film - Hong Kong kung-fu actress Maggie Cheung, playing herself. She is perfect as the exotic object, the ephemeral other, the object of desire who finds herself at the centre of the film's obsessive and sexually driven visual vortex.

In the privacy of her hotel room, Maggie Cheung zips herself into a full-body black latex catsuit which is going to be her vampire costume on the film set the next day. Maybe she is just getting into character, or maybe she shares something of the director's fascination with nocturnal life... predatory sexuality... visual fixation... the bound female form... anyway, the film really comes to life as she creeps through the hotel, her haunting feline eyes piercing through the spooky-sexy costume... the suspense here is that she is enacting her own vampire fantasy, of her own accord, not under the director's gaze. Maggie Cheung, all alone, on the roof, in the rain, exploring her own version of a male fantasy sequence. This is an unforgettable moment in art-house cinema.

The film really does justice to its themes, with the male characters degenerating from visionaries into voyeurs, and the female characters showing real depth in their willingness to accommodate the male gaze without losing their savvy post-fem powers. If you are a predictable guy like me, you will love the French-Asian grrrl power, which gives the film a pulse.

The theme of visual obsession is presented very well: the director is shouting, the cameras are rolling, and Maggie Cheung, in her catsuit, is ready to suck blood. In these moments she is bound but free, powerless but in control, objectified but liberated. I suppose this makes the film contentious and provocative, but I thought the message was very clear.

Without spoiling the end of the film: the last five minutes of Irma Vep is totally unique. You will never see another film which ends like this one. I can only describe it as a profoundly futile gesture, an act of great passion and impotence, and a brilliant moment in Lettrist art. It is Rene Vidal's last stand, a terrible but beautiful moment caught on celluloid: the work of a madman? a savant? a genius? you can decide, but I am sure you will agree that Irma Vep does a lot more than just scratch the surface of modern film art.

If you like Irma Vep, check out Shadow Of The Vampire as well.


21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why does José become so pensive to hear René edited at night? jsap
That elusive object of desire... CrayonPie
French song from black + white short (NOT Bonnie + Clyde)? murmur321
LUNA-bonnie and clyde megan1200
the B+W movie the movie crew is watching uncertain-modernist
New Region 1 DVD Release in 2008 enroc6
Discuss Irma Vep (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?