IMDb > Irma Vep (1996)
Irma Vep
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Irma Vep (1996) More at IMDbPro »

Irma Vep -- Open-ended Trailer from Fox Lorber


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7.0/10   3,562 votes »
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Up 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Olivier Assayas (written by)
View company contact information for Irma Vep on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 April 1997 (USA) See more »
A Chinese movie actress, in France to star in a remake of "Les Vampires", finds petty intrigues and clashing egos on the set. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Maggie Cheung and the embers of the French Avant-Garde See more (36 total) »


  (in credits order)

Maggie Cheung ... Maggie Cheung

Jean-Pierre Léaud ... René Vidal

Nathalie Richard ... Zoé
Antoine Basler ... Journalist
Nathalie Boutefeu ... Laure
Alex Descas ... Desormeaux
Dominique Faysse ... Maïté

Arsinée Khanjian ... L'américaine
Bernard Nissile ... Markus
Olivier Torres ... Ferdinand / Moreno
Bulle Ogier ... Mireille

Lou Castel ... José Mirano
Jacques Fieschi ... Roland
Estelle Larrivaz ... La standardiste
Balthazar Clémenti ... Robert, assistant
Lara Cowez ... Script supervisor
Dominique Cuny ... Grip
Jessica Doyle ... Jessica, Roland's Friend
Sandra Faure ... Vendeuse, sex-shop
Catherine Ferny ... Policewoman
Maryel Ferraud ... Make-up Woman
Filip Forgeau ... Camera Operator
Valerie Guy ... Valerie, in Mireille's apartment
Laurent Jacquet ... Electrician
Philippe Landoulsi ... Inspector
Smaïl Mekki ... Kermor, unit manager
Maurice Najman ... Maurice, Roland's Friend
Nicolas Giraudi ... Directeur de la production
Yann Richard ... Kevin
Jérôme Simonin ... Property Man
Alexandra Yonnet ... Lili, Markus's Friend
Pierre Amzallag ... Emergency Doctor
Françoise Clavel ... René's Wife
Françoise Guglielmi ... Producer
Odile Horion ... Zoë's Assistant
François-Renaud Labarthe ... TV Cameraman
Alain Martin ... Boy at Cafe Des Oiseaux
Guy-Patrick Sainderichin ... TV Dignitary
Willy Martin ... Bellboy

Directed by
Olivier Assayas 
Writing credits
Olivier Assayas (written by)

Produced by
Georges Benayoun .... producer
Françoise Guglielmi .... executive producer
Original Music by
Philippe Richard 
Philippe Richard (music by)
Cinematography by
Eric Gautier 
Film Editing by
Luc Barnier 
Casting by
Pierre Amzallag 
Art Direction by
François-Renaud Labarthe 
Set Decoration by
Yann Richard 
Costume Design by
Françoise Clavel 
Makeup Department
Isabelle Nyssen .... makeup artist
Nancy Tong .... makeup artist
Production Management
Sylvie Barthet .... production manager
Eric Bassoff .... post-production manager
Ivan Fegyveres .... assistant unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alice de Andrade .... assistant director
François-Renaud Labarthe .... assistant director
Jérôme Tardieu .... second assistant director (as Jerôme Tardieu)
Art Department
Christophe Mercier .... location finder
Sound Department
William Flageollet .... sound re-recording mixer
Laurent Lévy .... foley artist
Olivier Marlangeon .... foley artist
Marie-Christine Ratel .... sound editor
Philippe Richard .... sound engineer
Marie-Christine Ruh .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Grégoire Delage .... special effects
Olivier Zenenski .... special effects
Michel Julienne .... stunt consultant
Leslie Rain .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
François Berroir .... gaffer
Jean-Luc Bezeau .... key grip
Xavier Cholet .... electrician
Stéphane Fontaine .... first assistant camera
Sophie Lemaire .... clapper loader
Sophie Lemaire .... second assistant camera
Michel Michau .... electrician
Isabelle Weingarten .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jessica Doyle .... costume designer: Irma Vep
Editorial Department
Tina Baz .... assistant editor
Nabila Daniault .... color timer
Raymond Terrentin .... color timer
Location Management
Philippe Letode .... location scout
Other crew
Dina Arbib .... assistant director
Edmée Doroszlai .... script supervisor
Claire Denis .... thanks
Christopher Doyle .... thanks
Stanley Kwan .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
99 min
Black and White (movie extracts) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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


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23 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Maggie Cheung and the embers of the French Avant-Garde, 8 October 2004
Author: Joshua Martin ( from Melbourne, Australia

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (36 total) »

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Random Comments bama1111
That elusive object of desire... CrayonPie
Why did Maggie pretend... dahalpert
What the hell? atcline87
Blu-ray? crackersandrelish
Why does Jos become so pensive to hear Ren edited at night? jsap
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