Cold Water (film)

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Cold Water (L'eau froide)
Directed by Olivier Assayas
Produced by Georges Benayoun
Written by Olivier Assayas
Starring Virginie Ledoyen
Cyprien Fouquet
Jackie Berroyer
Cinematography Denis Lenoir
Edited by Luc Barnier
Distributed by Pan-Européenne
Release date
  • May 17, 1994 (1994-05-17) (Cannes)
  • July 6, 1994 (1994-07-06) (France)
Running time
92 minutes
Country France
Language French
Box office $185,917[1]

Cold Water (French: L'eau froide) is a 1994 French film written and directed by Olivier Assayas. About two troubled teenagers in France during the early 1970s, the film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.[2]

In October, 2007, it was screened at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, California, where Assayas spent a week in residence introducing and discussing his films with the audiences there. He was accompanied by his friend Jean-Michel Frodon, the current director of the journal Cahiers du cinéma, of which Assayas was once the director. Assayas said the film is autobiographical, reflecting upon his own teenage years. He went out of his way to cast actors who were not professionals or who, as in the case of male lead Cyprien Fouquet (playing Gilles), had never acted before. However, female lead Virginie Ledoyen (playing Christine) had some film experience. The film was the result of a commission from French TV, which wanted a 52-minute film but allowed Assayas to make a longer version, after some negotiations.


Gilles and Christine are attractive, sexually active teenagers from unstable homes. When they do some shop-lifting together she is arrested, but he gets away. She escapes from a mental institution and meets him at an abandoned house in the country, where a large group of rebellious teenagers are having a wild, all-night party. American rock music from the period is played prominently and has a very strong effect, especially "Me and Bobby McGee," sung by Janis Joplin. Drugs are used, mainly pot and hash. As the party is winding down, Gilles and Christine escape even deeper into the countryside, searching for a commune where artists are said to live without electricity or running water. This is Christine's idea, but Gilles reluctantly goes along. A jolting conclusion shows us that, as Assayas puts it, "Gilles' real life has now begun."



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  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Cold Water". Retrieved 31 August 2009. 

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