Hong Kong action diva Maggie Cheung (Ashes of Time Redux, In the Mood for Love) plays herself in Olivier Assayas' spiky satire of the French film industry. After seeing her in Johnny To's Heroic Trio, past-his-prime director René Vidal (New Wave legend Jean-Pierre Léaud) impetuously casts Cheung as the lead in his remake of the silent classic Les Vampires. Unable to speak a word of French, Cheung tries to navigate the disorganized production while clad in a head-to-toe rubber catsuit and receiving cryptic direction from Vidal. Things only get crazier as she juggles a lovesick bisexual costumer (Nathalie Richard), a gossipy executive's wife (Bulle Ogier) and the whole backbiting crew. With freewheeling shots choreographed to the strains of Sonic Youth and Luna, Irma Vep immerses the viewer into the heady desperation and l'amour fou of modern moviemaking. Zeitgeist Films celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a sparkling new DVD release of this supercool comic gem.
- Audio commentary: a discussion with director Olivier Assayas and critic Jean-Michel Frodon
- 30 minutes of never before seen on-set footage, plus an additional audio essay by Assayas and Frodon
- "Man Yuk: A Portrait of Maggie Cheung" (1997), a short film by Assayas
- Black-and-white rushes of Cheung as Irma Vep on Parisian rooftops
- Original French theatrical trailer
- 16-page booklet with essays on Maggie Cheung and Les Vampires director Louis Feuillade by Assayas, and a new appreciation by critic Kent Jones