Cold Water (1994)

There’s a sequence slap bang in the middle of Cold Water that the rest of the film seems to huddle around like hands over a bonfire. It’s a sprawling house party, scored to a handful of pop songs – Credence, Dylan, Alice Cooper – played in their entirety. It’s about as full an expression of filmic obsessions I’ve seen and for somebody sat watching it, bathing in the sights and sounds, a pure joy. It’s Olivier Assayas in a nutshell. I’m not surprised to find most reviews point to this sequence as a highlight of this recent re-release as it really does feel revelatory. The rest of the film holds up too. Strong naturalistic performances and 80s-era period detail. It’s all in the music though. A handful of stolen records exchanges hands in the first ten minutes for crying out loud. Glad this is finally in UK/US circulation thanks to Criterion and Janus films.

Watched on Criterion blu-ray.

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