Olivier Assayas' "Irma Vep" follows a once successful film director René Vidal (Jean-Pierre Léaud) along his disastrous path to redemption. Convinced that his unconventional approach to a remake of "Les Vampires" will revive his career, the film serves as a humorous depiction of pits and downfalls of the French film industry.
Maggie Cheung, a Hong-Kong based actress, is recruited for the lead role as Irma Vep. This decision shapes the entirety of the film as she represents a muse of both hope and desperation for René. Despite contradictory opinions from his long-held staff, he is convinced that Maggie's unique elegance and beauty alone will serve as a breakthrough in his career.
After a disastrous screening of the film, Maggie rushes to René to find him in a state of mental exhaustion. The importance of power and reputation in the industry are depicted in a melodramatic, humorous sense. Maggie begins to channel the criminal ways of her character in her struggle to accurately convey René's vision of Irma Vep.
Unable to speak the language, Maggie finds herself in a whirlwind of chaos involving crew drama, sexual temptation, and eventual downfall.
director OLIVIER ASSAYAS
director of photography ÉRIC GAUTIER
cast MAGGIE CHEUNG, JEAN-PIERRE LÉAUD, NATHALIE RICHARD, BULLE OGIER and LOU CASTEL
words KELLEN MULCAHY
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