Screen/Society--"Irma Vep" (Olivier Assayas, 1996)
"Irma Vep" (Olivier Assayas, 1996, 97 min, France, Color, DCP)
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 1915 crime serial "Les vampires". Blending blasts of silent cinema, martial arts flicks, and the music of Sonic Youth into a hallucinatory swirl of postmodern cool, Assayas composes a witty reflection on the eternal tension between art and commercial entertainment.
"As effortless as a shrug and boasts a film buff's dream cast." - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times