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IRMA VEP

France, 1996 (MIFF 1997, International)

Director: Olivier Assayas

Olivier Assayas made his name with serious, emotionally weighty works such as L'eau Froide (MIFF 95). With Irma Vep Assayas lightens the mood, proving to also be a skilled director of comedy. After meeting Maggie Cheung, one of Hong Kong's most popular actors, Assayas insisted on constructing a film for and around her. Cheung plays herself, arriving in Paris to recreate the jewel thief Irma Vep in a remake of the French silent serial film, Les Vampires.

The director of this film-within-a-film, Rene Vidal, is undergoing an emotional breakdown and has little control over his production crew. Zoe, the costume designer is in constant conflict with the production assistant, Maite, and is at the same time trying to seduce Maggie, who speaks no French and has to make do with the crew's broken English.

With constant satirical reference to the French film industry - petty rivalries and myopic arro­gance characterise the depictions of the cast and crew - combined with a documentary-style approach - the film was written in 10 days and shot in less than a month - Irma Vep is a sponta­neous, insightful and immensely enjoyable film.

See also...

CARLOS PART 2

“Bravura narrative filmmaking on a hugely ambitious scale, Carlos is a spectacular achievement.” - Variety ... The career exploits of Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known ... More »

DEMONLOVER

Cahiers du Cinema critic turned director Oliver Assayas (Irma Vep, MIFF 1997) takes us on another wild ride with this erotic cyber-thriller complete with a killer soundtrack by Sonic Youth and an ... More »

CARLOS PART 3

“Bravura narrative filmmaking on a hugely ambitious scale, Carlos is a spectacular achievement.” - Variety ... The career exploits of Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known ... More »

CARLOS PART 1

“Bravura narrative filmmaking on a hugely ambitious scale, Carlos is a spectacular achievement.” - Variety ... The career exploits of Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known ... More »

COLD WATER

... ... Cahiers du Cinema critic, screenwriter for Andre Techine and others, as well as an award-win­ning filmmaker, Olivier Assayas could be consid­ered part of a 'family' of French auteurs ... More »

Clean

In a seedy motel in Ontario, rocker Lee Hauser (muso James Johnston), managed by Vernon (Don McKellar), overdoses on heroin. His partner in love and crime is Emily (Maggie Cheung), who is wrestling ... More »

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