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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

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Details

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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

References Bullet in the Head (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonnie and Clyde
Written by Serge Gainsbourg
Performed by Luna
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User Reviews

 
A well-constructed, pleasant surprise.
22 May 2001 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

Maggie Cheung or not, I didn't expect much out of this film. But I was quite pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. For one, to get someone to play themselves in a lead role in a fictional film (Jackie Chan films and Roy Rogers aside;) is usually a risky thing to do. But Cheung fits in beautifully, and is so charming that she is obviously perfectly cast.

The film is in English and French, and even though the French is subtitled, I think it's easier to get caught up in the flow of the film if you understand both (I'm fluent in French and didn't have a problem, but I can see where it might be overly distracting). Some scenes seemed particularly important for one to be constantly looking away from the action, so to speak.

The film was a little long, and some scenes probably could have been cut down or cut altogether, but it gives a good view into French film-making, especially the snobbish elitism that is apparently common in more intellectual/artistic film circles. It's hysterically funny at some points, and the characterization of the different crew members is brilliantly portrayed.

I especially loved the scene where Maggie Cheung gets into characters by actually prowling around as a cat burglar (though she throws away her booty;)

Overall: a tight, well done film. It drags just a bit at points, but strong acting and strong writing help to overcome such lags. A pleasant surprise and a fun film! 8/10.


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