A film by Olivier Assayas
“Wildly beautiful! Assayas recaptures the exuberance and wit of French Cinema!”
-David Denby, New York Magazine
Hong Kong action diva Maggie Cheung (Ashes of Time Redux, In the Mood for Love) plays herself in haute auteur Olivier Assayas’ spiky satire of the French film industry. After seeing her in Johnny To’s cult-actioner Heroic Trio, past-his-prime director René Vidal (New Wave legend Jean-Pierre Léaud) impetuously casts Cheung as the lead in his remake of the silent classic Les Vampires. Unable to speak a word of French and clad in a head-to-toe rubber catsuit, Cheung finds herself adrift among the disorganized crew—including an increasingly erratic Vidal, a lovesick bi-sexual costumer (Nathalie Richard) and a gossipy executive’s wife (Bulle Ogier). With freewheeling cinematography choreographed to the strains of Sonic Youth and Luna, Irma Vep immerses the viewer into the heady desperation and l’amour fou of modern movie-making. Zeitgeist Films celebrates our 20th Anniversary with a sparkling new DVD release of this supercool comic gem.
- 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 exclusive behind-the-scenes 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
- Original French theatrical trailer
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- 20-page booklet with essays on Maggie Cheung and Les Vampires director Louis Feuillade by Assayas, and an appreciation by critic Kent Jones
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