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CQ (Soundtrack)

CQ Review

Directed By: Roman Coppola.
Starring: Jeremy Davies, Angela Lindvall, Elodie Bouchez, Gerard Depardieu, Massimo Ghini, Giancarlo Giannini, Jason Schwartzman, John Phillip Law, Dean Stockwell, Billy Zane, Natalia Vodianova, Noah Taylor.

Synopsis: Paris, 1969: The filming of a sci-fi movie set in the distant year 2000 is in trouble. The director's obsession with the actress who plays sexy secret agent Dragonfly (Angela Lindvall) has clouded his judgment and the film has no ending. A young American (Jeremy Davies) in Paris to document his life on film "with total honesty" is brought in to finish the movie. This proves to be difficult when the line between his fantasy life and reality becomes blurred and he, too, finds himself seduced by the charms of Dragonfly.

I watched three films yesterday, one was the forgettable Windtalkers, another was the fun and exciting Bourne Identity and the third was CQ. There is a lot to praise about CQ, Roman Coppola's debut film...there is equally as much to raise an eyebrow to and shake one's head at the mis-steps taken.

Let's start with what went right. First, the concept...a great concept. Essentially mixing the world of the beginning film maker with that of 'big-time' director along with the fun, campy realm of swinging 60's Paris in a sci-fi sexploitation flick called Dragonfly. Coppola seems to play with the movie within a movie in a more playful affectionate way that one almost wishes he had simply made Dragonfly as a throwback to a weird and lost cinema. However, Coppola figures he also has something to say, and while I am not sure whether or not he ever went to film school (he's the son of Francis, that should be film school enough) he knows how to nail down a student film...but also makes the mistake that student film makers often make. Even one of his characters mention it, they are boring, will anyone want to watch. I realize Coppola is making a point here between art and commerce and personal visions...but he also commits his fear to film and begins to bore the audience. Every time the film slips to Paul Ballard (Jeremy Davies) making his honest and pure film, one begins to shift in their seat waiting for the next over-the-top running sequence of Dragonfly (Angie Lindvall).

Next positive point. The casting. Jeremy Davies is watchable at anything he does, the guy is a great actor. Gérard Depardieu as Andrzej, an older director with eyes on the revolution who also tried to make a personal vision come to life with someone else's money. Despite the few small scenes, he steals what he does Jason Schwartzman as an American director who has embraced everything about his sleazy film director role. But the real talk will undoubtedly be about Angie Lindvall who, while never really blowing us away with her acting chops, captures your eyes with her looks in every scene, even when she is discovered by Andrzej during a protest and she is left looking natural without the leather sci-fi body suit and overly done make-up.

And Billy Zane...oh Billy Zane, you wild card you. Sometimes I despise you and other times you turn in a completely over the top performance which makes me want to see you in more films. His portrayal of a Castro/Che Guevra revolutionary operating out of his moonbase within the film is basically the most wonderful stupid thing I have seen in a loooong time!

Finally on the level of goodness, a level so few achieve though hopefully strive for, there is CQ's soundtrack. I have listened to this album three times so far, and have it playing while I write this review. It perfectly captures it's time and for some reason the odd, goofiness of it all is just so much fun I just can't get it out of my head.

But the bad...actually I hate to say bad because it makes it sound more evil than it is. The film is a fine little thing, and I would recommend it as worthwhile to check out to all aspiring film makers...but it is uneven and at times, boring. While it never quite hits the possible pretentious levels it could have easily slipped into it could easily have been tightened up so as to avoid some of the lulls. However Roman, I have a hard time calling him Coppola because it seems as if there should only be one Coppola, makes the mistake of having too many Fellini-esque moments of characters watching 'moments' rather than reacting, behaving or hell, even being a part of the events that are taking place. Still, it's a debut film and an interesting one at that.

I give CQ 3 stars out of 5.

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

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