Cq

"OK"

Cq Review


At once an homage to and a spoof of two signature styles of late 1960s cinema, "CQ" is an enjoyably eccentric entry into feature filmmaking by a writer-director who has the art form in his blood -- Roman Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola's son.

The title refers to an old Morse Code and ham radio signal sent to seek any kind of response ("seek you"), and it's reflective of the movie's main character. An ambivalent aspiring filmmaker (Jeremy Davies) seeking inspiration in 1969 Paris, he's torn between his desire to make a conceptual, black-and-white New Wave art film and his day job editing a studio's cheesy, sexploitive "Barbarella"-like B-movie.

Gritting his teeth over silly science fiction by day, he spends his nights locked in his bathroom, burning through miles of "borrowed" film on rambling autobiographic monologues while his live-in girlfriend frets in frustration. Davies' dilemma comes to a head when the manic director of the sexy sci-fi flick (played with comedic panache by Gerard Depardieu) is fired over creative differences.

After the studio's brief flirtation with hiring a hip, flavor-of-the-month young auteur (Coppola cousin Jason Schwartzman in a subtly scene-stealing, mock-narcissistic performance), the producers tap Davies to finish the film -- based on their strict scripting dictates.

Coppola the Younger (who has been an innovative music video director for some time) gives "CQ" a deliberately low-budget feel while taking stylistic cues from Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni and other directors from the era who are clearly also inspiring Davies' character. Meanwhile, the movie-within-a-movie, called "Dragonfly," takes place in a "futuristic" year 2001 (set miniatures include an aerial monorail, etc.) and takes on an enjoyably retro-campy quality. Its scantily-clad heroine flies a shag carpeted space ship and seduces a virile Che Guevara-type rebel leader ("Titanic's" Billy Zane, perfectly cast and sporting a satin uniform unbuttoned to show off his chest) at his moon-base.

But for all this attention to stylistic detail, Coppola's adherence to the methods he cops is uneven. The acting in the sci-fi movie isn't especially period or even especially campy (except for Zane, who knows exactly what he was hired to do) and while Davies' character is an interestingly inconstant cipher, his story arc is transparent. He wants to make personal films, yet feels drawn to the glamour surrounding his day job, symbolized by his infatuation with "Dragonfly's" beautiful starlet (model-actress Angela Lindvall). The sci-fi movie doesn't have an ending and when the producers tell Davies to divine one, his resulting struggle becomes a superficial parallel for the fact that he's at a loss for direction in his life.

Quibbles aside, anyone familiar with the era of filmmaking and fashion that inspired "CQ" should find it entertaining mock-nostalgia. Anyone not familiar should probably brush up on some of the following -- Roger Vadim's "Barbarella," Antonioni's "Blow-Up," Fellini's "8 1/2" and Godard's "Alphaville" and "Contempt" -- or this film might fall a little flat.



Cq

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 29th January 2003

Box Office USA: $0.3M

Distributed by: United Artists Pictures/MGM

Production compaines: United Artists

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 50 Rotten: 25

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Paul, as Valentine, as Marlène, as Andrezej, as Enzo, as Fabrizio, as Felix DeMarco, as Mr. E, as Chairman, as Pippo, as Dr. Ballard, as Brigit

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.