Cold Water

Fiction film Cold Water


French teens in the early '70s were coming out of a particularly turbulent period of civil unrest when thousands of students and workers took to the Paris streets. In this early masterpiece set in 1972, revered French filmmaker Olivier Assayas tells the story of a directionless young couple who find themselves at an all-night house party. This lengthy party sequence has been justly celebrated as an outstanding example of mise en scène and evocative use of music and helped establish Assayas as one of the finest filmmakers of our time.

"This [party] sequence captures everything about youth – not in any explosion of anger directed against authority, but in its desire to be free to be itself, to stretch out, find its own limitations and make its own mistakes – a note the film’s ending unmistakably proposes." – Noel Megahey, The Digital Fix

"Assayas’s technique is always reliably restrained, his complex tracking shots and endless, intimately labyrinthine single takes rarely call attention to themselves—they simply exist, watch, trail, breathe. You barely notice the bravura filmmaking that’s taking place because everything is so naturally there, captured." – Michael Koresky on Cold Water for Reverse Shot

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Director Olivier Assayas

The son of screenwriter Jacques Rémy, Olivier Assayas was a critic for Cahiers du Cinéma and made his own writing debut in 1978 with the short Nuit féline and made his directing debut the next year with another short, Copyright. Irma Vep (1996), Demonlover (2002), Clean (2004), Summer Hours (Festival 2009), Something in the Air (Festival 2013), Clouds of Sils Maria (2014), and Personal Shopper (2016) are among his other films.

Film Details
  • Country(ies): France
  • Language(s): French
  • Year: 1994
  • Running time: 92
  • Director(s): Olivier Assayas
  • Producer(s): Georges Benayoun, Paul Rosenberg
  • Writer(s): Olivier Assayas
  • Cinematographer(s): Denis Lenoir
  • Editor(s): Luc Barnier
  • With: Virginie Ledoyen, Cyprien Fouquet, László Szabó

Print Source:

Janus Films