Irma Vep (Essential Edition)
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- 16:9 Anamorphic transfer, available for the first time in North America
- Audio commentary: a discussion with director Olivier Assayas and critic Jean-Michel Frodon
- 30 minutes of never before seen on-set footage, plus an additional audio essay by Assayas and Frodon
- "Man Yuk: A Portrait of Maggie Cheung" (1997), a short film by Assayas
- Black-and-white rushes of Cheung as Irma Vep on Parisian rooftops
- Original French theatrical trailer
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- 16-page booklet with essays on Maggie Cheung and Les Vampires director Louis Feuillade by Assayas, and a new appreciation by critic Kent Jones
Top Customer Reviews
If you don't know, Irma Vep is a movie about a Hong Kong action star (Maggie cheung) who arrives in Paris to do a remake of a 1915 French film about the French underworld. The director is losing his emotional stability and eventually the crew unravels. A lot has been said about the "film within the film" aspect of the movie, so I won't say more. What I think is fascinating is how the director tells a number of stories within this strange plot:
- The crash and burn of a film crew
- Zoe, the costume designer who is attracted to Maggie and she is rejected
- Maggie's desire to indulge in her criminal fantasies
- the director's strangely engaging mini-film
Since all this takes place in the middle of chaos, it can be hard to appreciate at first. There is really no beginning or end of the film. It is abrupt, which I think must reflect the experience of someone who arrives in the middle of turmoil. But each mini-plot is lovingly filmed and well acted. It also helps a great deal that Maggie Cheung is an attractive actress who can really carry well while wearing a latex suit the director insists she wear. The rest of the cast puts in a great performance as well, which allows you to engage with the other characters.Read more ›
Until that movie is made, Irma Vep will have to do. Please note that elements of the plot are discussed but there are absolutely no spoilers here or in the movie. Irma Vep is a movie about making a movie and it's stuffed with angst, pettiness, tantrums, ego and confusion. Taken on one of its own terms -- is it any good just as a movie -- the answer in my opinion is a loud "yes." Forget all the inside cineaste stuff (it is French, after all) and you may find that Irma Vep is funny, not just clever. It's good-natured with a friendly performance by Hong Kong kung fu heroine Maggie Cheung playing herself. Most of all, it is so eccentric a movie I seldom could stop smiling.
Rene Vidal (Jean-Pierre Leaud), an aging New Wave director now well past his sell-by date, is planning a comeback. He'll re-make a long, long and long ago silent movie called Les Vampires, a movie about a gang of criminals who prowl and stalk. One of them, in a skin-tight black body suit and black mask, is named Irma Vep. She will be Vidal's inspiration. He has just the star in mind to play Irma...Maggie Cheung. Maggie, who doesn't speak French, shows up in Paris ready to work. Cast and crew snipe and argue in many mini-dramas. Vidal collapses.Read more ›
*What is fetishized in film noir is crime itself. Because that is where the characters (and the audience members) experience their moment of rebellion, of freedom.
*Of course the crime can take many forms: a hiest, adultery, a murder, looking at a painting, reading or writing a book, watching or making or acting in a film, or simply being onself (off camera).
*Whats really wonderful about a fim like Beineix's Diva is that the crime is something as minor as illegally recording an opera and then stealing the diva's dress. In Diva, art (and art appreciation) is viewed as transgressive and exciting.
*And whats wonderful about a film like Lynch's Blue Velvet is that the originary crime is simply boredom which begets curiosity which begets investigation which begets spying which begets awareness of every other form of transgressive behavior which begets knowledge.
*In life most of us are forced to hide out from ourselves. We hide out from ourselves in jobs that we don't like, we hide out from ourselves in relationships that require us to act more socially presentable and acceptable than we feel like acting, we hide out from ourselves in suburbs, in family life, we hide out from ourselves in all kinds of ways.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A terrific movie about making a movie! Maggie Cheung
gives a great performance. The sonic youth music is
a great plus! Read more
As someone who loves French films and has enjoyed other films by Olivier Assayas, this was a real treat from start to finish. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nick C.
This film was a total waste of time, at least for me. Unless there is some magic that escaped me I have no idea what gained it the higher ratings that it was given. Read morePublished 7 months ago by TREE
A great performance by Maggie Cheung. It's the story of a Hong Kong actress( yea a stretch) who goes to Paris to remake "Les Vampires" which she takes the role a little to... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Phillip Leung
One of my favorite all-time movies. It certainly has a different feel to it from an American movie, but if you're willing to step outside the Hollywood coma of overstimulation,... Read morePublished 22 months ago by samspennell
One of the worst films i've ever seen. I was forced to watch this for a college film class.... very badPublished on February 14, 2014 by Ryan
I didn't like it. Only watched it for film studies class. Wish I could un-do it. Waste of money! UghPublished on December 19, 2012 by Kenya
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