Irma Vep

A Company of Vampires
A Company of Vampires

Irma Vep (1996) is a matryoshka of a film, one built of nested meanings with a black vinyl doll at its center. It’s a tribute to Louis Feuillade’s 1915 classic, Les vampires, a brief history of French cinema, and a meditation on various degrees of crime. But Olivier Assayas’ cult hit is also a treatment of drama both artistic and interpersonal—a condemnation of our preference for hollow histrionics over still honesty, onscreen and off. Assayas has drawn a paradox: a criticism and a celebration of French cinema and the problematic passions of its individual creators.

Full retrospective below the fold.

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