IRMA VEP (1996)

dir. Olivier Assayas. Maggie Cheung playing herself, is in Paris, to star in a chaotic remake of classic French serial ‘Les Vampires’. Maggie Cheung is transcendent as the foreign actress. Her costume is a black skin tight latex catsuit. At one point the costume designer comments that “It’s like she was poured into it”, she’s not wrong. Jean-Pierre Léaud (who played Antoine as a teenager in THE 400 BLOWS (1959)), is the director, a wonderful performance, but is nearly unintelligible at times, his French accent is so strong. Amazing use of music, especially with Sonic Youth, and the Serge Gainsbourg song ‘Bonnie and Clyde’. For anyone who was worked in a country where they don’t speak the native language, it’s interesting to watch the film crew talk around Maggie Cheung, how they drift between English and French, on set and during the dinner party. Amazing hand drawn end credits. Possibly the best example of a film-within-a-film?