‘60s Style

Starring Jeremy Davies, Angela Lindvall, Elodie Bouchez, Gerard Depardieu and Giancarlo Giannini. Directed by Roman Coppola. Rated R.
Rated 3.0 Roman Coppola’s stylish and whimsically textured trifle about young filmmakers trying to make a gaudy sci-fi film in Paris circa 1969 is pleasurable and intelligent in ways that seem to have insured that it would reach the hinterlands not in theaters but in video stores.

CQ is one of the smartest and most visually astute American films released this year, and its resolute playfulness with a rather “small” and specialized subject is one of its virtues in every respect but the box office. Flitting back and forth among various bits of behind-the-scenes stuff and footage from two films—the sci-fi thing and a New Wavish film diary—Coppola and company whip up a frothy comic drama about filmmaking amid the turmoil of the ‘60s at their most experimental and contentious.

Jeremy Davies is good as the echt-'60s dreamer who gets promoted from editor to director of the troubled sci-fi production. Veteran Euro-stars Gerard Depardieu and Giancarlo Giannini do good, dark-humored work as the elder powers on the production, and Angela Lindvall and Elodie Bouchez do quicksilver work as the women between whom Davies wavers. Dean Stockwell and Jason Schwarzman have corrosively funny bits along the way.

The DVD edition of CQ has an extraordinary abundance of special features including a half-dozen or so featurettes, some of which serve nicely as miniature companion pieces to the main film itself.