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Directed by Olivier Assayas

France 1994 92 mins. In French

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

Appears in: Essential Cinema