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Critics reviews
Cold Water
Olivier Assayas France, 1994
The party set piece in Cold Water might be the fullest and most ambitious expression of Assayas’s ability to wed his mastery of movement to a structural bedrock of music, a series of songs that accompany the episodes we witness. The action and the music vary in mood and tempo, creating a rhythmic ebb and flow that drive the drama of the sequence.
September 11, 2018
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It can finally be recognized as a singular masterpiece on the most familiar of themes, the sufferings and misfortunes of youthful passion.
May 12, 2018
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Mr. Assayas succeeded in making a young person’s film when he was on the cusp of turning 40. He has said that he wanted “Cold Water” to feel like a movie from 1972. It doesn’t really, but, perhaps more remarkably, it’s so fresh it could have been made now.
April 26, 2018
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Through similar dissociative leaps, Bresson [in The Devil, Probably] focuses, penetrates, while Assayas [in Cold Water] flits by. Both films seem to create similar textural boundaries, yet while Bresson’s edits remain victim to them, Assayas’s camera soars past their perimeters. And it’s in this breaking free of formal restriction that Assayas unites his unassuming technical audacity with his thematic yearning and youthful restlessness.
January 01, 2007
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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. The drifting, circling handheld camera of Irma Vep is equally in evidence here, moving among characters with the nervous energy of a moth, showing us their isolation as well as their moments of union. One of the key French films of the 90s.
July 01, 2002
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Compelling and hypnotic, brilliantly crafted in many respects; but also occasionally empty, contrived, pretentious.
June 01, 1995
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