Après Mai [Something in the air] [2012, Olivier Assayas]
L'eau froide [1994, Olivier Assayas]

I am often under the impression that my films happen by themselves, that they force themselves onto me. SOMETHING IN THE AIR in particular. For a long time, I had a nagging sense of wanting to make not a sequel, but an extension of Cold Water, a film which, in 1994, became my second debut film, gave me a chance to review the way I made films. And it did take me by surprise. Only now in hindsight have I come to understand that it opened up doors for me. The doors of film autobiographies. I remember the amazement I felt upon uncovering dailies from the nighttime party scene, the one that only takes up a couple of pages in the screenplay, but makes up a third of the finished film: the fire, the teenagers, the joints”

Olivier Assayas


I mean, all of this, but 22:51-26:39.

“This image of erasure and nothingness is echoed in the film’s unforgettable final image, a blank piece of paper that reflects the inability of these teens to communicate, to make themselves heard. They’re not even sure what they could say, what they could write, how they could capture what they’re feeling and thinking in mere words. The film’s title refers to that final scene, set by the side of a cold river in the middle of winter; the world is cold, and these teens huddle together to keep warm, but even with each other they can’t quite communicate. They don’t want to be alone, that’s all they know — anything else is mysterious, inexpressible, and a blank page might be the only thing they leave behind in the world.”

Seul le Cinema - L'eau froide