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3 1/2 stars: I'm not sure why I liked it but i did!
on August 7, 2012
This is the first feature film by Roman Coppola (son of Francis Ford Coppola) and is one of those films that says "I'm not sure why I liked it but I did," which means of course, many won't. Paul (Jeremy Davies, TV's "Justified") is an American living in Paris in 1969 working in the movie industry that focuses on schlock "B" movies. His current film is a silly sci-fi secret agent film called "Dragonfly" (Angela Lindvall) which is the government agent's code name.
Paul's real passion however is a black and white documentary he is working on which mainly consists of filming things around his apartment which he shares with an Air France flight attendant (Elodie Bouchez). He spends much of this personal film sitting on a toilet (uh, like a chair) talking into the camera. Better lighting in the bathroom I guess.
The filmmakers do a nice job of creating the look of films shot in the late 60's, especially those of smaller budgets. And the film within a film, "Dragonfly" carries that same look of the era. "Barbarella" is certainly an influence. Paul is essentially a quiet, insecure individual not sure what he's trying to accomplish. His relationship with Marlene (Bouchez) is souring as he ignores her for the most part.
A couple things transpire that begin to change his life. The director of the film, as well as an interim director (Gerard Depardieu and Jason Schwartzman), leave the picture that isn't finished. The producer (Giancarlo Giannini) then promotes Paul who is the editor and second unit director, to write an ending and finish the film. Using influences of his own life, dreams and fantasies ("CQ" = seek you), he does. The movie isn't polished and hits a few snags, but I found it enjoyable and fun.