Irma Vep

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Irma Vep

Irma Vep is a 1996 film directed by the notorious French director Olivier Assayas, which stars Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung who plays herself in a story about the many disasters that ensue when a middle-aged French film maker (played by François Truffaut's actor Jean-Pierre Léaud) decides to remake Louis Feuillade's classic silent serial Les vampires.

Cheung plays the heroine Irma Vep. She spends most of the film dressed in a tight, black, PVC suit, defending her directors' odd choices to hostile crew members and journalists. As the film progresses, the plot mirrors the disorientation felt by the film's director.

In the 1915 original serial, written and directed by Louis Feuillade, Irma Vep (an anagram for vampire) was played by French silent film actress Musidora (1889-1957). Parts of the film depict set-related incidents that echo scenes in Truffaut's La nuit americaine (English title: Day for night). Like Truffaut, Assayas was a critic for influential French film magazine Cahiers du cinema.

Assayas married Cheung in 1998. They divorced in 2001.

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