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Films We Love: CQ (2001)

Directed by: Roman Coppola

Starring: Jeremy Davies; Angela Lindvall; Élodie Bouchez

Released: May 12, 2001

In 1969, American Paul Ballard (Jeremy Davies) is a film editor living in Paris with his French flight-attendant girlfriend Marlene (Élodie Bouchez), and an aspiring filmmaker filming his and Marlene's day-to-day interactions to get a better grip on himself and their hot/cold relationship, despite Marlene's opinion that the film is self-indulgent and worth no-one's time.

There are two films within a film in this campy film. There is the introspective black and white, experimental, "student" sort of film that director Paul is making in his Paris apartment, and there is "Dragonfly," the latest film on which Paul has been hired as editor and on which he is also second-unit director. It is helmed by famed French director Andrezej who discovered the film's leading actress Valentine (Angela Lindvall), who plays the title character Dragonfly.

With the majority of filming complete but the film yet without an ending, the movie's producer, Enzo di Martini, fires Andrezej as he is unhappy with Andrezej's vision. Through a few iterations of directors, including wunderkind Felix DeMarco, Paul is eventually hired to complete the direction of the movie including coming up with an ending to the story.

Through the process, Paul becomes infatuated with Valentine himself. Paul's two films might change the direction of both his professional and personal lives.

Despite the pedigree of being written and directed by the latest Coppola clan member to enter the feature film directorial ranks, CQ came and went from theaters when it was released a few years go. We at Goodies are a little stunned as to why.

Roman Coppola proves to be a promising, thoughtful filmmaker and as adept a student of cinema history as his Uncle Francis. CQ is an engaging, if loosely structured movie, managing to be simultaneously inventive and derivative, borrowing from and paying homage to everything from La Dolce Vita to the Marx Brothers.

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