Irma Vep Series-Premiere Recap: Screw Up the Plan

With his original 1996 film Irma Vep, writer-director Olivier Assayas took a defibrillator to

the French film industry, attempting in his own puckish way to revitalize a cinema

that had grown chaotic and creatively moribund. In the film — as in

this new miniseries — an international star is brought into Paris for a remake of Les Vampires,

Louis Feuillade’s ten-episode silent serial about a journalist seeking to expose a secret society of underground

criminals, including Irma Vep, a diabolical woman disguised in a black catsuit.

The role of René Vidal, the director of the movie-within-the-movie, was played by Jean-Pierre Léaud, a living legend

whose role as Antoine Doinel in several François Truffaut movies, starting

with The 400 Blows, made him the face of the French New Wave.