Director: Olivier Assayas
Running time: 92 minsFrance
Screenplay: Olivier Assayas
Production co: IMA
Producers: Georges Benayoun, Paul Rozenberg
Photography: Denis Lenoir
Editor: Luc Barnier
Sets: Gilbert Gagneux
Sound: Hervé Chauvel
Music: Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Nico, Roxy Music, Leonard Cohen et al
Christine: Virginie Ledoyen
Gilles: Cyprien Fouquet
Gilles' father: Laszlo Szabo
Christine's mother: Dominique Faysse
Christine's father: Jackie Berroyer
Marie: Ilona Györi
Inspector: Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Mourad: Smaïl Mekki
Teacher: Jean-Christophe Bouvet
Nurse: Renée Amzallag
Festivals: Cannes, Toronto, New York, London, 1994. Rotterdam, Melbourne, 1995.
A restless, nervy camera catches them on the move, as they shoplift some records, lie to police, bicker with parents, make their escape. This edginess is exploded with gratifying violence in the climactic party scene around a bonfire with expertly selected Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Nico, Roxy Music very, very loud on the soundtrack. Any vestige of naturalism is abandoned in the film's concluding sequences on the banks of an icy river. The final scene has a chilling grandeur that verges on the operatic - except that it is unsettlingly unclear what happens.
L'Eau froide exalts teenage despair with unerring precision. Its validation of teen spirit is like a gift from '90s youth culture back to the '70s. It is no surprise that 40-year-old Assayas, himself a former critic, is the current favourite of the young French critics.