Repertory Picks

Teenage Rebellion in Madison

On Film / In Theaters — Jun 28, 2018

Back in April, two and a half decades after it was produced on a shoestring budget for French television, Olivier Assayas’s ’70s-set teenage love story Cold Water finally made its U.S. theatrical debut, as the film opened in New York, in a new 4K restoration, courtesy of Janus Films. Tomorrow, the film will continue its national tour with a 7 p.m. screening at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Cinematheque. A wrenching tale of romance and rebellion in the wake of the political upheavals of May 1968, Cold Water trains its focus on two troubled teenagers alienated from family and society but increasingly drawn to each other, against all odds. With this, his semiautobiographical fifth film, Assayas crystallized the fluid aesthetic and formal daring that would help make him one of the world’s most renowned contemporary directors, conveying the emotional turbulence of adolescence through kinetic camera work, long takes, and a rock soundtrack redolent of the period. The carefully selected songs, by Leonard Cohen, Nico, and many others, “ended up becoming one with the narrative—they say something that’s beyond the story,” Assayas told us earlier this year. “I think that people who have experienced the seventies are connected by that music, so all of a sudden it’s a universal language.”

For a preview of Cold Water, which will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in September, take a look at the trailer: