Cq

on May 24, 2002 by Chris Wiegand
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   “CQ” sees Roman Coppola following in the footsteps of father Francis and sister Sofia. One of the highlights of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, his eagerly anticipated feature debut is a joy from start to finish--as unpredictable, stylish and original as his celebrated pop promos and commercials.

   Paris at the fag end of the '60s. Paul (“Spanking The Monkey's” Jeremy Davies) is a self-absorbed American cinéphile who spends his spare time working on an ultra-serious black-and-white study of his own existence, to the frustration of his tempestuous French girlfriend. Funding for the film comes from his disillusioning day job as an editor on “Dragonfly”--a kitsch sci-fi flick about a kick-ass Barbarella-style secret agent (played by startlingly beautiful model Angela Lindvall, making her screen debut). The director of “Dragonfly” is the temperamental auteur Andrzej (Gerard Depardieu). Fiercely devoted to his “art,” Andrzej falls out with his producer before filming a suitable ending and finds himself kicked off the set. With two days to go until the shoot is set to wrap, Paul is swiftly promoted and saddled with the task of finishing the film.

   Coppola's modish debut rivals those of two of his ads ‘n' promos contemporaries Spike Jonze and Jonathan Glazer. It is as witty as “Being John Malkovich” and as assured as “Sexy Beast.” As a film about filmmaking, it even rivals “Le Mépris” (Godard has had a clear influence on Coppola's use of color) and Truffaut's “Day For Night” (with which it shares a similar joie de vivre). “CQ” is also full of the kind of in-jokes favored by the luminaries of the Nouvelle Vague, paying tribute to a host of '60s camp classics. A love for films shines through each frame and the era is recreated with obvious affection, scored to perfection with some tasty boogaloo beats. Starring Jeremy Davies, Angela Lindvall, Gerard Depardieu, Giancarlo Giannini, Billy Zane, Jason Schwartzman and Dean Stockwell. Directed and written by Roman Coppola. Produced by Gary Marcus. A United Artists release. Comedy/Drama. Rated R for some nudity and language. Running time: 89 min

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