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Irma Vep

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France · 1996
1h 39m
Director Olivier Assayas
Starring Maggie Cheung, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Nathalie Richard, Antoine Basler
Genre Comedy, Drama

Maggie Cheung plays herself as a Hong Kong movie actress that travels to France to star in a remake of a silent film. When she arrives on set, Cheung finds the notoriously unreliable director gone missing and the crew left struggling to connect with his obscure vision for the film, including his choice to cast her as its lead.

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What are critics saying?


Time Out by

A delightfully nonchalant movie, complete with some nice satirical barbs aimed at contemporary French film culture, and fine performances throughout.


Empire by David Parkinson

Ultimately, Irma Vep doesn't quite have the courage of its convictions, but still provides plenty of scathing satire on the state of French cinema.


Variety by David Rooney

A slender but appealing divertissement about a has-been auteur attempting to remake the French silent classic "Les Vampires," the film's wry digs at the institution of Gallic art movies and at the anarchic confusion of the filmmaking process should amuse hip fest audiences.


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

This unexpected masterpiece was assembled so quickly that it has an improvisational feel and a surrealist capacity to access its own unconscious—traits it shares with Feuillade's work.


TV Guide Magazine by Ken Fox

Cheung, slinking around the corridors of her hotel in her sheath of shiny black latex to the dissonant chords of Sonic Youth, is an instant icon of everything.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

The film is a true torchbearer of the French New Wave—playful, restless, full of invention, and born of an overwhelming discontent for the status quo.

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