In CQ's film-within-a-film Dragonfly, Angela Lindvall plays the secret agent title character, and Billy Zane is the handsome and mysterious Mr. E. Director Roman Coppola enlisted Dean Tavoularis, the Oscar-winning production designer of his father's Godfather films, to both recreate the swinging 1969 Paris setting of CQ, and evoke the movies of the period (including Modesty Blaise, Barbarella, and Danger: Diabolik) that the B-level, sexy and spoofy sci-fi spy saga Dragonfly references.
Roman Coppola's cousin Jason Schwartzman plays the flashy flavor-of-the-month director who temporarily takes over production on Dragonfly. Though set in Paris, much of CQ (the title is Morse code for "seek you") was shot in Luxembourg with a French crew, including set decorator Philippe Turlure, and art directors Luc Chalon and Oshin Yeghiazariantz. Tavoularis, an American, has also been living in Paris for the past few years. The director of photography was Robert D. Yeoman
The visual effects in CQ, including circa-1969 renderings of B-movie Mars-scapes, were supervised by Gene Warren, Jr., and his Burbank, CA company Fantasy II Film Effects. The sound designer was Richard Beggs. Coppola's double vision encompasses both a late 60s version of the 21st century, and a 21st-century version of the late 60s. Costume designer Judy Shrewsbury's references for the Dragonfly outfit and its variants extended to the Lanvin-Castille costumes for Marianne Faithfull in the 1968 film Girl on a Motorcycle. Kuperminc Leathers made Lindvall's costume.
The main character in CQ is Paul (Jeremy Davies), an aspiring American filmmaker living in Paris who starts out as an editor on Dragonfly, and ends up its director. Paul is interested in more personal forms of cinema, which allows Coppola to also quote from 1960s arthouse fare like Godard's A Married Woman, Masculin/Feminin, and Two or Three Things I Know About Her, and the Jim McBride cinema verité classic David Holzman's Diary.
Blanketed in $1,000 bills in her white-on-white lair, Dragonfly is in full Barbarella mode. The resemblance was not lost on makeup designer Jacques Clemente and key hairstylist Catherine LeBlanc. CQ, an American Zoetrope production, was released by United Artists in May. For more information, including a making-of scrapbook, visit the CQ website.
Photos: United Artists