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2,418 Ratings

Irma Vep

Directed by Olivier Assayas
France, 1996
Drama, Comedy, Avant-Garde


Hong Kong action diva Maggie Cheung (playing herself) comes to France when a past-his-prime director casts her in a remake of the silent classic Les Vampires. Clad in a rubber catsuit and unable to speak a word of French, Cheung finds herself adrift in the insanity of the film industry…

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Irma Vep Directed by Olivier Assayas
The director’s still-signature work is a sort of egghead cinephile love letter to star Maggie Cheung, and much more. It’s an actively thinking, self-questioning film—and you can feel Assayas realizing a newfound freedom of experimentation, though the alchemy is more playful than forcible.
October 21, 2015
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Maggie Cheung manages to bridge the two worlds with her alternately befuddled and sultrily confident performance, slipping between the tedious post-neorealism of everyday drama and the freed, post-sync sound, black-and-white universe into which Cheung slips when she gets into her avatar’s character.
June 26, 2015
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Olivier Assayas’ feverish black comedy—about a film production whose star (Maggie Cheung) and director (Jean-Pierre Leaud) are visibly unraveling—grows more and more unhinged with each scene before exploding, in its final minutes, in a flurry of pure abstraction. Assays’ sharp observations about film culture and globalization (a central theme in his later work) share space with loopy identity games and uncomfortable sexual tension…
October 11, 2013
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