I finally was able to see the film “CQ” by purchasing the DVD. I’ve been anticipating it for a while as the trailer looked great. There is always the danger that a film won’t live up to the trailer, but this time it surpassed my expectations. I loved the film. Roman Coppola’s feature debut tells the story of an American film editor (which is close to my heart) in Paris in 1969 who is working on a French-Italian Sci-Fi film called “Codename: Dragonfly” while making his own personal documentary. It’s a gorgeous film to look at with the Sci-Fi film in glorious colour and the personal documentary in beautiful black and white. The film-about-a-film genre can be extremely narcissistic, but it can also result in some great work such as Truffaut’s “La Nuit Américane” (“Day for Night”) or “CQ.” Both films have a deep love for filmmaking and it shows on the screen.
The film stars Jeremy Davies who I first saw in David O. Russell’s “Spanking the Monkey,” a twisted little film that I saw back in 1994, where Davies stole the show as a frustrated college student forced to take care of his mother during the summer. Angela Lindvall is Dragonfly and Valentine (the actress who plays Dragonfly) and she’s great in both roles. The film expertly shows the difference between an actor and character as it mixes film and reality together. Élodie Bouchez plays the editor’s French girlfriend and she seems to be the only person who give some perspective in the whole thing when comments on his personal documentary by saying, “What if it’s boring?”
The DVD is a real treat with 9 personal filmmaking documentaries. These aren’t your usually EPK puff pieces thrown together, but a series of films by filmmakers about the film itself all with different points of view and different techniques. Other neat features are the two different versions of “Codename: Dragonfly” as the trailer for the film within a film. The trailer (supposedly from 1969) is a clever homage to the trailer for “Dr. Strangelove” which I recently saw for the first time in the special features on the “Dr. Strangelove” DVD.
“CQ” is one of those films that reminds me why I love films and filmmaking.