The culture industry celebrates itself (nd-aktuell.de)


Mira, the most humble character in the chaos of honest and suffering divas.

Photo: sky

Rarely has any other HBO series inspired film critics like Irma’s Vape in recent years. It was part of the program at the Cannes Film Festival, which premiered in the US in June and can now be watched on Sky. French director Olivier Assayas’ eight-part series is a remake of his 1996 feature film of the same title, which is in turn based on the legendary 1915 silent film Les Vampires.

The film “Irma Vape” tells the story of the filming of one of those complex postmodern blends of story, author, fiction and artistic production that reflect the sensibilities of the innovative class of culture like a magnifying glass. The series explicitly addresses an educated audience and tends to deal with social issues – if any – on a meta-mysterious level. Admittedly, this seemingly exhausting HBO series is really fast-paced and incredibly entertaining for extended periods of time.

This is mainly about the great cast of actors, including Lars Edinger, who faithfully plays the crack-addicted, reactionary and pioneer Gottfried to the core. With his diva-like demeanor, he spoiled almost the entire filming of the film. Fashion designer Jane Balbarr, daughter of French post-Marxist Étienne Balbar, and Hollywood star Alicia Vikander starring in the title role in Irma’s Vibe.

Irma’s Vibe tells of filmmaking, the struggle for artistic freedom, queer desire, economic constraints and resulting alienation, fetishism, the history of French film, Paris as a showcase for the American longing for cultural depth, and the hardships of a successful movie star. .

The focus is on Mira (Alicia Vikander), who is currently celebrating international success as a superhero in the blockbuster “Doomsday” and then stars in a French series portrayed by neurotic independent director Rene Vidal (Vincent McCain). Mira now plays “Irma Vep” – the name is an anagram from “Vampire” – and is also the sinister female protagonist in Louis Feuillade’s ten-part cult film “Les Vampires.” Rene Vidal wants to restore this pioneer of surrealism, a milestone in film history, as faithfully as possible and constantly follows the actors who play the original on his mobile phone. Working on the film prismatically breaks down the sensibilities of all involved.

Mira suffers from the breakup of her friend Laurie (Adria Arjuna), whom she meets in Paris. Meanwhile, she’s married to the hit director “Doomsday” who is cute, but simply knit and is now playing cat and mouse with her ex. Irma’s Vibe chronicles the slowly escalating situation surrounding the film’s shooting process, as the private concerns, needs and desires of actors and directors increasingly merge with the film project.

French director Rene Vidal quickly despairs of his life’s project because the financier, a disgusting rich man, primarily wants to win Mira as a model for a perfume ad and sees the film only as a motive for a Hollywood star, who yearns for cutting edge cinema. .

Meanwhile, Mira is pressured by her agent to finally sign a contract for a new superhero movie, while she begins a relationship with costume designer Zoe (Jane Ballbar), and climbs into bed with her ex-boyfriend and Gottfried (Lars Edinger), who is the villain’s actor, meanwhile. Throwing and crack smoking make parties, movie locations and various hotel rooms unsafe.

Superstar Mira, desired by everyone – be it sexual, romantic, economic or artistic – is the most realistic character in this mess full of honest and suffering divas. And it is Mira who, as is often the case as a woman, takes care of everyone and takes care of the injured souls, while she herself is getting worse, but no one is allowed to notice.

Irma Vape is set across five cleverly intertwined levels. These range from short scenes from the original silent movie from 1915 to its production of game scenes, the current movie was shot in Paris in 2022 to a “vampire” remake as a result, and there are always scenes from the flagship from 1996.

All these levels communicate with each other and weave a dense web of references, all revolving around the question of fiction, art and filmmaking itself. What does it mean to be an actress and to slip into a role and fill it in a way that the artist literally takes over at some point? How does contemporary cinematic narration work? It’s cool at times, a little stressful at times, but definitely worth watching and the bottom line is a quick self-congratulation to a cultural high industrial class celebrating itself.

Available on Sky.

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