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Coppola's "CQ" - underappreciated gem?


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#1 Ian Marks

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 06:12 PM

I hadn't been able to find this film in any of my local rental stores but was able to snag a used DVD onlin. It arrived last week and I watched it over the weekend. I don't understand why this film, directed by Roman Coppola (son of Francis Ford) never developed the buzz it deserved. If Sophia Copolla's "Lost In Translation," a bare whisp of a movie, deserved critical raves and a (gag me) best screenplay Oscar, then this film should have attracted at least as much attention.

Since this movie takes place in the late 1960's and revolves around the making of a "Barbarella"-esque science feature film, it has a few delicious bits for fans of older equipment, including a couple of shots of Jeremie Davies (from "Saving Private Ryan") shooting on location with an Eclair Cameflex. The best part for me was the period production design.
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#2 razerfish

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 04:45 AM

I saw it thought it was terrible. Slow and dull. I can take artsy and prentious, but will never settle for dull. Not sure if Roman wrote the script, but if he did, he needs to stop writing. The story just wasn't feature material. Don't remember much else about it; not a good sign.
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#3 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:20 AM

this was one of the most dissappointing films for me. paris in the 60s, self obsessed filmmaker, cheesey scifi, i mean it's like this movie was custom made for me because i'm totally all about those things. i actually saw the world premiere at the sf intl filmfest. i thought the film was completely trite. i never once gave a care about anyone or their problems in the movie. it was all style with no real substance in my opinion. i don't mean this in a venomous way, but it's kinda to be expected from a music video/commercial director.

one very interesting thing about this film... his dad was in the audience for the screening. and when someone asked roman coppola about the "twin" in the film, he ended up mentioning how dean stockwell's father character said "you never know when things from your everday life will pop up in your work" or something like that. and as roman was saying it, his father started saying it in unison, loudly, from the audience. when this happened, it all kinda became obvious to me that dean stockwell was more or less playing his father in the film, because it seemed like his dad was saying it as if it's something he had told his son. it was kinda weird actually.

also, father coppola started out as an editor on exploitation films and on one film the director was fired and the producer told him to just credit anyone else as director, so he put his name in even though he didn't direct it. at least that's what he said in a 'fresh air' interview with terry gross. so it seemed to me like "CQ" has some direct references/relationship to his dad.
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#4 Ian Marks

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:47 PM

Oh, man. I didn't think it was slow in the least. As for it being trite, I thought it was calculatedly lightweight. I saw the whole thing as spoof, both of the late '60's go-go era and the cheesy sci-fi it movies it spawned, and a send-up of the whole self-indulgent filmmaker type who just wants to make a movie that's "honest" . . . this from a guy who doesn't really have much of an identity, is emotionally blocked off from his stewardess girlfriend and is whoring himself out to an Italian producer of junk films. The Jeremie Davies character, with all his moping about and his bleak musings to the camera for his own "personal" film (16mm and black and white, of course) is a caricature. I didn't see the need to read a lot into the whole Dean Stockwell/father character, as I don't think this was intended to be a big "message" movie. And if the story mirrors Roman Copolla's father's story, so what? That's rich territory to mine for a story.
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#5 Hunter Sandison

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 02:56 PM

I agree with Ian Marks,
My feeling was that the movie was making fun of the filmmaker character. I found pleasantly stylish, visually refreshing and above all really funny.
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#6 Bryan Darling

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 03:08 PM

I happen to own the film, bought it along time ago when it came to DVD. I had missed it in the theater when it passed through Sacramento. I'd say that CQ is an eye-candy movie. Empty and void of anything but pretty shots, pretty people, and pretty music. So I take it for what it is and enjoy it just for that. However, I think to compare it to Lost In Translation is like comparing apples & oranges; to use a cliche.
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#7 Chris Burke

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 07:21 PM

I happen to own the film, bought it along time ago when it came to DVD. I had missed it in the theater when it passed through Sacramento. I'd say that CQ is an eye-candy movie. Empty and void of anything but pretty shots, pretty people, and pretty music. So I take it for what it is and enjoy it just for that. However, I think to compare it to Lost In Translation is like comparing apples & oranges; to use a cliche.



I agree with you, much more style than substance. Probably the only two people in the world who actually like the film, are in this thread. As stated before, it was really hard to get invested in any of the characters. I did not care what, if anything, happened to them.
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#8 Charles Haine

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 10:59 AM

Strangely, I always thought I was the only person on earth who loved that movie. I own it on DVD, and watch it pretty much any time I'm seriously ill.

I actually do engage quite a bit with the character; he's movie-obsessed to the point where he has a hard time functioning in his life. Doesit all make total sense? No, of course not, but for some reason, I relate enough to just connect with it.

Sure, LIT gets me more emotionally, and connected with a wider band of the population, but still not the complete population, and who would want that anyway? CQ appeals to a very narrow strip of the population, but to the people it works for, it really works, I think, and that's all that matters.

Some movies should try and please everybody, but those will never provide the depth of experience found by movies that only appeal to a small segment, who really dig it.

chuck
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#9 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 04:09 PM

I don't like films about film production, however this film rocks! Robert Yeoman did great work, as usual. To respond to most of the posters: What exactly is "feature material"? Isn't the medium of film big enough for everything...? I hate action films but I'm glad they are around...because film isn't just an artistic venue. It is also an entertainment venue. Love Tarkovsky, hate Bay. Still glad they both made movies.
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