31 August 2009

Irma Vep.

A couple of times on here I've tried to describe scenes with words instead of posting actual videos, but with this one I really think you'd lose the force of the moment without the visual accompaniment.

The film is worth seeing. I'm going to borrow allmovie.com's review to prompt the video. It's what I would have to type out myself otherwise, and in other words there's nothing I wish to add.

"A sinuous dark comedy about cinema, Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep may cast a critical eye on the state of 1990s filmmaking and all that it implies, but the critic-turned-director also creates an artistically thrilling testament to the medium's luminous allure. Though Assayas references French cinema history through the conceit of remaking Les Vampires (1915) and featuring Jean-Pierre LĂ©aud (aka Antoine Doinel) as embattled director Rene Vidal, the English-heavy dialogue and the casting of Hong Kong star Maggie Cheung suggest that the fictional production's maladies are more global in nature. Shot in under a month, Irma Vep's restless style aptly evokes the production's (and Vidal's) implosion under the weight of commercial imperatives, petty power struggles, and misplaced egos, while Cheung's fabulous cat-suited presence renders her a model of elusive star desirability. Punctuated by glimpses of Vidal's dailies, Irma Vep's aborted Les Vampires seems like an artistic lost cause -- until its final, dazzling five minutes reveal how much creative life still potentially percolates through the art form. Though less than adored in France, Irma Vep won ardent fans on the international festival circuit, confirming Assayas' place in French cinema's 1990s renaissance."

This video is those final minutes:

The rest of the movie is nothing at all like that. I should say.

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