Virginie Ledoyen in Cold Water, Courtesy of Janus Films.
Olivier Assayas on Cold Water, His Breakout Film, Restored at Last
Given the film’s minimal budget and four-week shoot, certain scenes were hardly kept true to the 70s. One clearly takes place in a 1990s supermarket, “and no one cares,” Assayas said with a laugh. Even so, he continued, “I think there is some sort of poetic autobiography in this film. The conflicting emotions you have when you are a teenager. It’s a violent moment in anyone’s life . . . I think [the film] deals with teenage fears, teenage dreams, fantasies, in a way anybody who’s gone through that age can understand, hopefully.”
Now, as his growing American fan base experiences this long-lost breakout for the first time, Assayas said that he’s found himself renegotiating his own relationship to the film, an early portent of his work’s distinctly out-of-time appeal. “I look back at that film and kind of laugh—I could’ve made it in the 1970s,” he said. “I think the line will blur—the more time passes, the more the line blurs and the more this film belongs to the 70s, in a strange way.”
Courtesy of Criterion Collection.
How The Virgin Suicides Brought Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst Together
Since its initial, limited U.S. release, The Virgin Suicides, has become a lightning rod for the young women who connect to its beautifully crafted, psychologically rich depiction of their inner lives. Even today, Coppola’s interest in this subject is sometimes misunderstood—which proves just how pivotal her point of view remains. Coppola remembered speaking at Harvard earlier in the week, where someone asked her a question about why she so often films “‘women lying around, or characters lying around.’”
“I was like, ‘I don’t know, I never thought about it. That’s what teenage girls do. That’s what you do when you’re alone—you lie around and daydream . . . It’s when you really have time to be lost in your interior.’”
Adapting the Lisbon sisters’ story for the screen instilled Coppola with the confidence to call herself a director—and has likely inspired other young women to do the same. “[I wanted] to see my experience, or something I could relate to, or what I was into, in a film, because I didn’t see teenage girls treated in a way that I connected to,” she said. “Except for John Hughes, who I loved. He was the only person who made films about young people that I related to—most movies were kind of cheap for kids, and they didn’t have good cinematography. . . . I wanted to make something beautiful and poetic for girls, because I didn’t see that—so I made something that I wanted to see.”