Sunday, August 20, 2006

Impressionistic Film About a Film

by Olivier Assayas

Irma Vep is a film that simultaneously is very thin and also has a lot going on within it. It’s about a film that is being shot (or not shot) with Maggie Cheung (who plays an actress named Maggie Cheung). It’s a comedy with some wonderful moments between the actors and a fascination with Maggie Cheung’s face as she faces a series of unfamiliar situations. It’s one of those films that becomes more interesting as you keep thinking about it afterwards. It moves along is a seemingly accidental and casual way as the production of the film deteriorates. Visually the film changes style often and ends with a startling and surprising sequence that moves the film from a satire of French (and Hong Kong) filmmaking to an experimental celebration of the cinematic image. A unique film for cinephiles that ultimately transcends clichés.

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