Ella is a divorced Chinese American taxi driver who spends her days ferrying people around the roads of Sausalito, San Francisco. After work, she spends time with her 8-year old son, Scott.... 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 »
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
I know I'm supposed to love it, but I did like it.
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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