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Irma Vep (1996)

Not Rated | | Comedy , Drama | 30 April 1997 (USA)
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1:22 | Trailer

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

Director:

Olivier Assayas

Writer:

Olivier Assayas
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Cheung ... Maggie Cheung
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... René Vidal
Nathalie Richard ... Zoé
Antoine Basler Antoine Basler ... Journalist
Nathalie Boutefeu ... Laure
Alex Descas ... Desormeaux
Dominique Faysse Dominique Faysse ... Maïté
Arsinée Khanjian ... L'américaine
Bernard Nissile Bernard Nissile ... Markus
Olivier Torres Olivier Torres ... Ferdinand / Moreno
Bulle Ogier ... Mireille
Lou Castel ... José Mirano
Jacques Fieschi Jacques Fieschi ... Roland
Estelle Larrivaz Estelle Larrivaz ... La standardiste
Balthazar Clémenti Balthazar Clémenti ... Robert, assistant
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Storyline

French filmmaker René Vidal was once a renowned director, but most see his career on a quick downward slide based on his last several films. In Paris, he is just starting to film his latest movie, a remake of Les vampires (1915), and has hired Hong Kong based Chinese actress Maggie Cheung as the title lead, "Irma Vep" (an anagram for "vampire"), despite she knowing no French and she not being an obvious choice to most. Maggie has never worked with Vidal before and knows little about his movies, but many of his primarily French crew are part of his regular stable. As such, Maggie may become isolated among the cast and crew, unless there are those who bring her into their English conversations, they who may have somewhat ulterior motives in doing so. There are also factions within the cast and crew, who, based on their history, have a poisoned sense of what is going on. With Vidal, he is dealing with some personal issues while he tries to regain his film making form. He may transfer his... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

30 April 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ирма Веп See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$191,164, 10 August 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dacia Films,Canal+ See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (movie extracts)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 Dong fang san xia (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

La era está pariendo un corazón
(uncredited)
Written by Silvio Rodríguez
Performed by Silvio Rodríguez
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A well-constructed, pleasant surprise.
22 May 2001 | by kergillianSee 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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