Irma Vep was directed by Olivier Assayas and starred his soon-to-be wife Maggie Cheung the Chinese movie star playing herself in a movie about making a movie. With Truffaut alter ego Jean-Pierre Léaud also playing the director of the film within the film it’s hard not to think of this as a homage to Truffaut’s celebrated La Nuit Américaine.
Irma Vep is more than a homage. It’s a film about making a film and very French and post-modernist in intent.
Irma Vep is more than a homage. It’s a film about making a film and therefore very French and post-modernist in its intent. But this film is much more than that. It’s about the nature of creativity itself. About how you take some elements –such as maybe remaking Louis Feuillade’s Les Vampires, adding some understated sexuality in the catlike, latex-covered shape of a beautifully exotic Chinese movie star, and mix in some French style and behind-the-scenes passion and intrigue.
There’s more to the creative process then just mixing up the elements to see what takes shape. There’s the thinking, the thought process, bref some real crafting that’s both innate and bloody hard work sometimes that creates something new – something that hasn’t existed before.
Creativity is unique and comes from a singular vision that is more than the sum of its parts. It creates new life and, when it comes to design, it’s something that’s so much more than style because it’s built on strong, logical ideas.
Creativity is unique and comes from a singular vision that takes and gives back more than it takes.
Would Maggie Cheung have gone on to make In The Mood For Love with Wong Kar-wai and steal the heart of every wannabe art director in the east and western hemispheres without her Parisian sojourn? I doubt it.
This film about filmmaking ends with a screening of the work of the absent filmmaker that is surprising, a little shocking, hilarious and totally unexpected. It’s certainly something you wouldn’t find in a Hollywood movie where box office rather than creativity counts even in the era of Nolan and his cronies.
Ideas and great creativity are always unexpected. They can even be astounding within the right context. You can go beyond the design logic of any brief and create something that stands alone. Designers need clients with the vision and the belief that great design gives them the power to grow their business and a creative advantage over the competition. Sit back and enjoy the ride.