Bastille Day Screening: Cold Water

Bastille Day Screening: Cold Water

Director: Olivier Assayas

1994, France, 92 Minutes, 4K DCP Restoration

Program Notes

An acclaimed early work by Olivier Assayas that has long remained unavailable, the deeply felt coming-of-age drama Cold Water at long last makes its way to U.S. theaters as a wonderful 4K restoration.

Drawing from his own youthful experiences, Assayas revisits the outskirts of Paris in the early 1970s, telling the story of teenage lovers Gilles (Cyprien Fouquet) and Christine (Virginie Ledoyen), whose open rebellion against family and society threatens to tear them apart, as Christine is sent to an institution by her parents and Gilles faces an uncertain future after running into trouble at school. With a rock soundtrack that vividly evokes the period, and provides the backdrop for one of the most memorable party sequences ever committed to film, Cold Water is a heartbreaking immersion into the emotional tumult of adolescence.


“The beautiful and heartbreaking plot culminates in a party at and around a country house, and Assayas’s sustained treatment of this event — the raging bonfire, the dope, the music and dancing — truly catches you by the throat… One of the key French films of the 90s.” Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Cold Water has the kind of emotional purity that puts it in a class by itself. Its blue fog envelops you.” — David Edelstein, New York Magazine


Cannes Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
New York Film Festival