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Cold Water

Sony Pictures // Unrated // September 11, 2018
List Price: $27.37 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted October 30, 2018 | E-mail the Author



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Cold Water Criterion Blu-ray Review


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Cold
Water
is a coming of age film inspired by memories of
filmmaker
Olivier Assayas (Something in the Air, Personal
Shopper
).
The film was executive produced by Elisabeth Deviosse (L'Appartement)
, Francoise Guglielmi (Irma Vep, Trouble
Every Day
),
and Casanova Yannick (Un pique-nique chez Osiris).
It's an
exceptional early work from French auteur Assayas.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
film originated as part of a French television series production
which was aimed at creating short television films that would
showcase different filmmaker's experiences growing up in different
time periods. Cold Water was to reflect the culture
and times
of the 1970's. Assayas showcases the times with a pulsing rock
soundtrack, an extended party sequence, and the energy of young love.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
story ebbs and flows between two characters: Christine (Virginie
Ledoyen) and Gilles (Cyprien Fouquet). Each character has their own
storyline as we see their experiences with their families and
personal lives unfold. As the film progresses, each of the
character's unique experiences are brought into focus while the film
slowly builds up to the two meeting each other for a night they won't
soon forget.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Director
Assayas cut two different versions of the film. Assayas made a
shortened television version based on the expectations of the
original project and an expanded theatrical release cut. Criterion
has included the feature-length version for this release. Considering
the budget limitations on the project were with the expectation of
making a short television film, it's astonishing what Assayas managed
to accomplish with the feature-length film.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
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style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">The
cinematography by Denis Lenoir (Paris, je t'aime) is
beautiful
and serene with the 35mm film perfectly befitting the nostalgic tone
of the piece. As this is something of an experimental film, the
cinematographer did a superb job capturing the essence of youth with
long shot takes following the characters. The lengthy party sequence
has few cuts to the takes as well and is hypnotic.


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align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Cold
Water
has a superb soundtrack that brings so much of the
flavor
and energy of 1970's rock to the table. The film's key party sequence
is a huge portion of the film and features one great rock track after
another. It feels a bit like getting to hear a jukebox that only
plays "the greats" and nothing else. It's not an overstatement to
say that the film has an incredible and eclectic rock soundtrack. The
film features the likes of rock greats like Roxy Music, Nico, and
David Bowie


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Olivier
Assayas (Summer Hours, Carlos)
is one of the most
interesting and unique French filmmakers. Each film by the director
has his unique stamp as an artist. Cold Water is no
exception.
While it's an early work by the director, it's by no means a slight
work. The film feels as personal and artistic as anything I've seen
by Assayas. While the film might be relatively light on plot, it's
not light on the magic of youth: Cold Water feels
like a
glimpse into the memories of an unforgettable time in these
teenager's lives: as if looking at a faded photograph but with all
the memories rushing back at once.


size="3">The Blu-ray:




size="3">Video:


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align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Cold
Water
arrives on Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection with
a
brand new 4K restoration which was supervised and approved by the
director. The release is presented with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded
presentation in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.66:1
widescreen. The film has a high bit-rate 35 mbps encode.
style="display: inline ! important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: verdana,arial,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"> color="#222222"> size="3"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">
This is a amazing presentation which preserves the film's
cinematography. The 35mm film looks beautiful and the restoration
shows fine film grain. The restoration is superb with no dirt,
debris, or print damage.


Audio:


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">The Blu-ray is presented
with 5.1
DTS-HD Master Audio. The film is presented in French with English
subtitles. The subtitles included are a new translation which is
free from grammatical errors and typos. This is a superb sounding
audio presentation which renders the film's amazing soundtrack with
great clarity: the film is loaded with amazing tracks by artists like
Roxy Music and Nico and the film is a transcendent experience with
it's music-video like soundtrack backdrop.




size="3">Extras: style="text-decoration: none;"> style="font-style: normal;"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">


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align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">This
release includes a leaflet featuring an essay by film critic Girish
Shambu.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">On
disc supplements include:


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Olivier
Assayas
(HD, 15 min.) discusses his involvement with the
project
and how it developed into being a feature-film with a personal
perspective in this new interview with the director.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Denis
Lenoir
(HD, 11 min.) discusses his approach to filming Cold
Water
and his perspective on the story and cast in this new interview.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Le
cercle de minuit
(SD, 12 min.) is an excerpt from a 1994
french
television program interview about the film, featuring
writer/director Assayas and actors Virginie Ledoyen and Cyprien
Fouquet.


size="3">Final
Thoughts:


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">Cold
Water
is presented on Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection
in a
director approved edition featuring a brand new 4K restoration of the
35mm internegative. This is an exceptional film which showcases the
early talents of filmmaker Assayas. The film was inspired by the
director's personal experiences as a teenager.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">It's
a nostalgic trip through the director's youth with amazing music
featuring classic rock songs that ebb and flow throughout the film to
form a amazing experience. The film is superb, the restoration is
exceptional, and the included supplements help to enhance one's
appreciation of the filmmaker's artistic vision. This release is well
worthwhile for fans of director Assayas.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; line-height: 100%; widows: 2; text-decoration: none;"
align="left">
style="background: transparent none repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial;">
Highly
Recommended.



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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