Cold Water
(L'eau froide)

Screening on Film
Directed by Olivier Assayas.
With Virginie Ledoyen, Cyprien Fouquet, Judith Godreche.
France, 1994, 35mm, color, 92 min.
French with English subtitles.
Print source: Universal

In the time-honored tradition of The 400 Blows and Vagabond, Cold Water offers a tale of alienated youth, focused this time upon a pair of troubled adolescents who abruptly desert the families that are unwilling or unable to understand them. Christine (Godreche) is locked up for shoplifting, while Gilles (Fouquet) chafes under the weight of a smothering father (played by Hungarian filmmaker László Szabó). The climax of the film is a bravura extended sequence set at a teenage party in an empty house in the woods, an adolescent version of the ball in Visconti's The Leopard. Cold Water was Assayas' entry in "Tous les garcons et les filles de leur age" an ambitious commission by French television that chose nine directors to make a film about teenagers set during the period of the directors' adolescence. Other entries in the series are André Téchiné's Wild Reeds and Chantal Ackerman's Portrait of a Young Girl… 

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Driven: The Films of Olivier Assayas