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Irma Vep (1996)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  30 April 1997 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,290 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)

Irma Vep (1996) on IMDb 7/10

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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

Certificate:

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Details

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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

When Jose drinks his beer at the restaurant, he finishes it off. But then in the next shot he refinishes the same beer before the waiter brings him a new one. See more »

Connections

Features Les vampires (1915) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonnie and Clyde
Written by Serge Gainsbourg
Performed by Luna
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I know I'm supposed to love it, but I did like it.
15 June 2011 | by (US) – See all my reviews

I feel downright churlish for not going completely crazy for this funny/sad look at movie- making -- specifically the rather absurd, doomed remaking of a real French classic, by an aging, out of style art-house director, starring Hong Kong action heroine Maggie Chung, who plays herself delightfully.

I enjoyed the film; its sort of a complex 1990s 'Day for Night', with a paradoxical and sometimes confusing point of view about the nature of art and the state of film.

But I couldn't see it for the masterpiece a number of intelligent critics gave it credit for being. Jonathan Rosenbaum, the terrific critic from the Chicago Reader wrote a very long, in depth analysis that went right over my head, and then added insult to injury by implying that people who don't see the film as a deep investigation of the evils of capitalism, and the meaning of ART are somehow shallow.

I'm also surprised by the number of people who take the ramblings of an obnoxious reporter character in the film about the death of French art cinema as being the film's point of view on these issues. To me the film isn't taking sides, and seems to be gently satirizing, and yet embracing all of film.

Good natured, well acted, and occasionally brave (but also occasionally obscure) I quite enjoyed this and it did provoke some thinking. But I couldn't see it as the super deep film some did. For me, it was fun, but the ideas are far less deep or radical then critics seem to want to give them credit for being.


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