The week on TV: Irma Vep; The Sandman; All or nothing: Arsenal; Paper girls | TV

irma see (Atlantic sky) |
The Sandman (Netflix) |
All or nothing: Arsenal (Amazon main) |
paper girls (Amazon main) |

You start to wonder if “meta” demanded his own trailer during the making of irma see. It’s everywhere in this eight-part Sky Atlantic production, like Gauloise’s cigarette smog at an author’s picnic.

The brainchild of French director Olivier Assayas, this is the making of a film from the 1915-16 silent film series The vampires. It’s also a remake of Assayas’ 1996 cult film. irma see, in which Maggie Cheung played herself. It stars Alicia Vikander (the danish girl) as the disillusioned American actor Mira (an anagram of Irma; just as Irma Vep is an anagram). The director (Vincent Macaigne) has visions of a past love (Assayas was married to Cheung). Nathalie Richard from the 1996 film appears briefly. Music is provided by Thurston Moore (a Sonic Youth track featured in the film). Later, spoiler alert, though it’s everywhere, there’s a cameo from a former Assayas collaborator and star of a Hollywood vampire franchise (in the spirit of the anagram, let’s call him “Light Twi”). So it goes on, in a bold meta-delirium, self-referential and bordering on the know-it-all.

One thing that has changed is Irma’s infamous catsuit. In the film it is transgressive: brilliant, erotic, menacing. Here, the suit is velvety, softer, less “Venus in Furs,” more “Halloween Jim-jams.” Vikander wears it well, sultry and feline, but it’s hard to believe that this suit is fundamental and transformative, turning her into a Raffles-esque subversive thief, a night prowler on the rooftops of Paris.

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irma see it becomes a blizzard of new/old themes: the confusion of fantasy and reality; acting ego (Call my agent! fans will enjoy this); creative validity; #I also; race, sexuality, art versus commerce; dysfunction, anguish, betrayal. Among the new characters, Lars Eidinger steals scenes as an unruly non-PC actor: “I relaxed on a lot of things, I don’t want to end up like my friend, Harvey Weinstein.” Vikander is a less fragile Irma than Cheung, more sardonic and worldly as she navigates the love interests of men and women as she tries to fend off her agent (Carrie Brownstein) and various other industry bloodsuckers. Sometimes, irma see feels both overstuffed and devoid of the 1996 film’s otherworldly, brittle magic. Yet it’s still gloriously unusual and wickedly funny.

Tom Sturridge appears in irma seeplaying Mira’s ex, and also stars in Neil Gaiman’s long-awaited 11-part series of DC Comics’ dark fantasy story. The Sandman on Netflix. When I say “long-awaited”, The SandmanGodot’s three decades of development make Godot seem punctual. Maybe that’s why it’s available here as a box: Sandman Fans have waited long enough.

never been found before The Sandman, I am initially confused. Why is Sturridge, like Morpheus/Dream, styled after Duran Duran’s The Wild Boys video? (To be fair, Sturridge, with his prismlike features and Shakespearean intensity, turns out to be a good fit.) Why does that bird (Patton Oswalt) keep hopping and chattering? Does Charles Dance (seeking to ward off Death, but imprisons Dream in a glass dome) gets first place for all high-profile fantasy villain roles?

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Tom Sturridge as Dream and Kyo Ra as Rose Walker in The Sandman.
Tom Sturridge as Dream and Kyo Ra as Rose Walker in The Sandman. Netflix

Dream needs to retrieve his ruby, his “helm” (mask thing) and sand, which he keeps throwing sullenly, disappearing in the whirlpools of gray grains. As Dream intones (“You mortals go about your work, your loves, your wars, as if your waking lives are all that matters”), elsewhere it’s about Endless, Dreaming, Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) and baby gargoyles. Joely Richardson is the mother of Charles Dance’s (David Thewlis) twisted son, Jenna Coleman is an occult detective, and Hell is ruled by Gwendoline Christie’s wonderful Lucifer. I just feel less confused and rather enjoy the mind-boggling Old Testament and Ouija board vibe when there’s a sharp turn into an episode set in a restaurant, with Thewlis on a quest for “honesty,” which is genuinely macabre. For all the CGI and the ham, The Sandman it is a fantasy that refuses to become a theme park.

In the same week that we witnessed the English soccer Lionesses triumph at Euro 2022 (was a sweaty sports bra ever so mythical?), Amazon Prime released the first three of its eight-part documentary series. All or nothing: ArsenalA behind-the-scenes look at the Premier League club during the 2021-22 season.

There’s a trend for these sports docuseries and they can be great watch: operettas of player tantrums, fan meltdowns, and torn hamstrings. It helps (sorry, Gooners) that Arsenal started the season in the doldrums: beaten game after game, with fans clamoring for the head of Spanish player-turned-manager Mikel Arteta, who looks like a detective in a stylish Los Angeles-based thriller, but that, initially at least, he can’t seem to stop his team from being killed.

Along with interviews with the faces of Arsenal past and present (Thierry Henry, Bukayo Saka), the series features everything from doom and gloom to big-money signings and on-pitch brawls with Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp. Like the sport itself, these documentaries truly come to life at the sweet spot where passion meets determination…and sheer excitement. Yet, All or nothing: Arsenal it doesn’t top my list of favorite genres (that honor goes to the painfully messy and mysteriously archived Netflix). Sunderland until I die), but is relaxing.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta in All or nothing.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta in All or Nothing: ‘He looks like a detective in a stylish Los Angeles-based thriller’. AFP/Getty Images

Also on Amazon Prime, the second big new adaptation of the comic is the sci-fi drama. paper girls, originally by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, created for television by Stephany Folsom. Set in the 1980s, it has been compared to Strange things, but after a few episodes, it doesn’t feel that similar. A group of 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls (played by Sofia Rosinsky, Riley Lai Nelet, Camryn Jones and Fina Strazza) in a fictional part of Cleveland, Ohio find themselves thrown through a time-space vortex into the year 2019. where some meet their adult selves.

He’s still dealing with 21st century technology (“What is the Internet?”), but the main plot is a futuristic battle between evil reactionary forces and the underground resistance. Despite the gritty performances of the young cast, I find it uneven and a bit unattractive, a feeling that doesn’t help the bad guys brandishing what appear to be pound-store ray guns (there’s “low budget,” then ” no budget”). ”). Yet, paper girls it’s witty, and at times it looks stunning: an eerie pink wash that drenches the vast suburban skies.

Sofia Rosinsky, Riley Lai Nelet, Camryn Jones and Fina Strazza in Paper Girls
Sofia Rosinsky, Riley Lai Nelet, Camryn Jones, and Fina Strazza in Paper Girls. Photography: Prime Video

Star ratings (out of five)
irma see
The Sandman ★★★
All or nothing: Arsenal ★★★
paper girlAmazon-Prime ★★★

What else am I seeing?

Train Wreck: Woodstock 99
A three-part docuseries about the revived 1999 Woodstock festival (Limp Bizkit, Fatboy Slim, Sheryl Crow), where crowds erupted into a violent and misogynistic “frat-boy” crisis. It makes the 2017 Fyre festival look like a real garden party.

War and Justice: The Case of Marine A
Channel 4
When Royal Marine Al Blackman shot an unarmed Taliban fighter, he became the first British soldier to be sentenced on a foreign battlefield since World War II. This documentary analyzes the case and the fight to free him.

Neil Patrick Harris in Decoupled.
Neil Patrick Harris in Decoupled. access point

This new slow-paced, bittersweet romantic comedy series from Darren Star (sex and the city) stars Neil Patrick Harris as a gay man who unexpectedly finds himself single and is forced to navigate the cutthroat world of New York dating.

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