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Cold Water

Olivier Assayas is one of contemporary France’s most piercing, confident filmmakers. Cold Water, produced in 1994 but long unavailable due to music rights issues, can stake its rightful claim as one of his best films. Set in 1972, the film stars non-professional actors Virginie Ledoyen and Cyprien Fouquet as teenage lovers Christine and Gilles. They have hardly anything other than their love and even less to lose, turning first to petty shoplifting, then to running away in search of something unknown. Assayas poignantly captures their relationship—and their social struggles at school and with family—with a restlessly roving camera, to a score of music crucial to the times, including tracks by Leonard Cohen, Nico, and Bob Dylan. “A coming-of-age drama so wonderfully textured that even when its climactic scene is just a party where teenagers bop to one ’70s anthem after another, it stays with the viewer as a wholly sensory experience.”—Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, Pitchfork.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Olivier Assayas

Clouds of Sils Maria

“Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is a middle-aged actress who soared to stardom in her twenties in a play called Maloja Snake, in which she created the role of a ruthless young woman named Sigrid who engages in a power game with her older boss. Now an established international actress, Maria is considering the role of the

Personal Shopper

“Kristen Stewart is the medium, in more ways than one, for this sophisticated genre exploration from director Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria). As a fashion assistant whose twin brother has died, leaving her bereft and longing for messages from the other side, Stewart is fragile and enigmatic—and nearly always on screen. From an opening sequence

Irma Vep

Irma Vep

A twin portrait of both the acclaimed Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung as well as the French film industry as seen through the eyes of one of its main arbiters, Assayas’ Irma Vep slyly skewers the idea of the stable film production. Led by the erratic, disjointed artistic vision of past-prime Réné Vidal (Jean-Pierre Léaud),