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First Impressions | Irma Vep: The A24 series with Alicia Vikander is great, but not for everyone

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Metalinguistic in its entire construction, Irma Vep arrives as a glimpse of the functioning of the film industry itself at its heart, between capricious directors, support teams constantly subjugated by the absurd demands of the cast and disagreements in a closed, full opinions, customs. and different points of view on everything. For a cinephile passionate about this creative underworld, Olivier Assayas’ production is one of the most accurate self-analysis. From red carpets doused with inflated egos, to countless interviews with journalists around the world, the universe of a movie star works exactly like this contrast of colors: The darkness of loneliness and constant dissatisfaction and the tones hot from a connected life with lavish events, public harassment and repetitive vices.

And amid all the confusion is Alicia Vikander, who almost brings an alter ego of herself to life as Mira. A star of blockbuster movies and with comic book adaptations knocking on the door, she aspires to what most Hollywood actors crave: the prestige and respect that only independent production can truly give them. And as she tries to find herself in a French remake of a classic 1915 silent film, the wealthy young actress tries to figure out who she really is between scenes. On a set led by an actor dominated by celebrity syndrome and an explosive director dependent on mood suppressants, she attempts to navigate a script that – at its best – would naturally be a ticking time bomb, like every film production. in fact is.

And Vikander’s charisma takes over on stage. As a woman who struggles to look like she’s not trying too hard, she lives between the listlessness of slightly slurred speech and downcast gaze and the pressure of trying to outdo herself in a difficult role. Around her, a number of eccentric and unattractive characters gravitate around her tiny subplots, adding a next level of depth to the star of the production. And Assays, who recreates her own 1996 film Irma Vep here, attempts to expand her original feature into a more accessible format, Americanizing her French original to a format that better flirts with today’s audiences, who essentially feeds on streaming platforms. .

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With help from HBO, the filmmaker and production company A24 are turning the cult film into a more marketable but still tightly-knit series. Slow-paced and with a much more subjective proposition—whose biggest plot line lies between the lines of Mira’s character build—the series wasn’t for everyone. Combining drama and suspense in a very mysterious way, Irma Vep is still a little indecipherable in its first two episodes. Could it be a clinical analysis behind the scenes of a production or would it be a metalinguistic epic with a promising and chaotic plot? It’s still a well-kept secret, which many people may not have the same patience to try and uncover in future chapters.

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