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Irma Vep

Opens on May 13

Director: Olivier Assayas Run Time: 99 min. Format: Digital Release Year: 1996 Language: English and French with English subtitles

Starring: Antoine Basler, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Maggie Cheung, Nathalie Boutefeu, Nathalie Richard

Screenwriter: Olivier Assayas

Producer: Georges Benayoun

Olivier Assayas’s live-wire international breakthrough stars a magnetic Maggie Cheung as a version of herself: a Hong Kong action-movie star who arrives in Paris to play the latex-clad lead in a remake of Louis Feuillade’s classic silent crime serial Les Vampires. What she finds is a behind-the-scenes tangle of barely controlled chaos as egos clash, romantic attractions simmer, and an obsessive director (a cannily cast Jean-Pierre Léaud) drives himself to the brink to realize his vision. Blending blasts of silent cinema, martial-arts flicks, and the music of Sonic Youth and Luna into a hallucinatory swirl of postmodern cool, Assayas composes in Irma Vep a witty critique of the nineties French film industry and the perennial tension between art and commercial entertainment.

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