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Irma Vep (1996)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  30 April 1997 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,274 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 47 critic

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

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Title: Irma Vep (1996)

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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
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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

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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:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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

Features Les vampires (1915) See more »

Soundtracks

Tunic(Song for Karen)
by Sonic Youth
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User Reviews

 
...In which Olivier Assayas tries out a bunch of different ideas with no cohesion
23 June 2006 | by (Hawaii) – See all my reviews

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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