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  • Water Drops on Burning Rocks
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Water Drops on Burning Rocks

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Leopold, a smug, still-hunky 50-year-old businessman, picks up and seduces fresh-faced, carrot-topped 19-year-old Franz who swiftly moves into his bachelor pad. Their cozy relationship soon sours as Leopold, a kind of gone-to-seed Dirk Bogarde, turns cranky and argumentative. When Franz's buxom blond girlfriend surfaces, and then Leopold's elegant and enigmatic ex, things get funnier, steamier and a lot more complicated. Set in Germany in the '70s, and brilliantly adapted from a play by the great R.W. Fassbinder, by one of France's most daring and innovative new directors, WATER DROPS ON BURNING ROCKS is fraught with intimations of violence, betrayal, and sexual shenanigans run amok.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Bernard Giraudeau, Malik Zidi, Ludivine Sagnier, Anna Levine
  • Directors: François Ozon
  • Writers: François Ozon, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Producers: Alain Sarde, Christine Gozlan, Kenzô Horikoshi, Marc Missonnier, Olivier Delbosc
  • Format: Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 9, 2001
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005KCAW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,265 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Water Drops on Burning Rocks" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Clark on October 31, 2003
Format: DVD
With his deliriously rich fourth feature, Water Drops On Burning Rocks, François Ozon (See The Sea, Under The Sand, 8 Women) tackles the legacy of the great Rainer Werner Fassbinder in fascinating ways, even as he refines his own distinctive voice. This brilliantly acted film is alternately tender and sardonic, visually opulent yet claustrophobic, and wise beyond its years.
Although you do not need to have seen a single Fassbinder to enjoy Ozon's film, those people familiar with the German enfant terrible will recognize his perennial theme of the vicious circles of exploitation - with all of the attendant love, loathing and unsettling but sometimes hilarious humor. Yet his worldview is refracted through a new, and razor-sharp, perspective. Middle-aged Leopold and 20-year-old Franz obviously love each other, but their familiar, and all-too-human, inability to communicate divides them. Into that breach Leopold is only too eager to bring exploitation, as he turns Franz into a hausfrau, albeit one in lederhosen instead of pantyhose. Typical of Fassbinder, we see the exploitation spiral into a second generation, as Franz uses Leopold's strategies on his former girlfriend, Anna, when she makes a surprise visit in the hope of snagging back her beau. Perhaps the most poignant, and surprising, example of these circles - within circles - of need and frustration comes when we learn the story of the mysterious Vera, Leopold's former lover.
Ozon also uses, and creatively plays with, Fassbinder's visual style, especially as seen in the ravishing Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "mobby_uk" on July 15, 2002
Format: DVD
Francois Ozon is one of the new wave of French directors, who have made their mark by the sheer force fo their talent. And while his latest 8 Femmes, has taken France by storm, and has made his name on an European and International level, his earlier films show the signs of a great director.
I saw Water Drops yesterday, having no expectations at all..Just a movie on cable to kill my sunday afternoon, and i was pleasently surprised and captivated.
The story based on Fassbinder's play is typical of the late German themed, complex, full of tortured souls, and pessimistic. But Ozon gives the film a new life, with his brilliant camera work, and his obvious sympathy for the characters.
Although the ending leaves a lot to be desired, and prevents me from giving the film full marks, it is the wondeful actors that keeps you watching in fascination.
Giraudeau and Zidi give their best performances to date as the gay couple, with a complex relationship full of passion, quarrels and the need for fulfillment.
As for Ludivine Sagnier, not only she is very beautiful, but her acting is very good, as well as Anna Thomson aka Anna Levine, an underrated American actress that did some excellent indie and european films.
The dance scene is probably a bit weird , watching it in the context of the whole film, but it adds some humour to the Fassibinderesque bleak atmosphere.
The choice of music, I thought was very good as well. The German songs complement the film beautifully.
The film has some nudity, but it is not explicit in a voyeuristic sense. Like most French films, it comes naturally and very believable, as opposed to the somehow added scenes for the viewer's pleasure in most American films.
So Water Drops is an intense above average film for cinema lovers that should be appreciated for its acting, direction and even music.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2005
Format: DVD
François Ozon has flair and style ('Swimming Pool', 'Under the Sand', '8 Women', etc) and in scripting Rainer Fassbinder's 1970s play 'Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes' for the screen he has created an edgy, fun, and poignant examination of the lives of four people at their intersection.

Act I (for that is the way the film is laid out in homage to Fassbinder's play): 50-year-old Léopold (Bernard Giraudeau) is entertaining 19-year-old Franz (Malik Zidi), who he has picked up in a bar, with sharp repartees about his past loves and is sparred by Franz relating his current affair with the young and beautiful Anna (Ludivine Sagnier). The conversation gradually gets around to seduction and both Léopold and Franz happily reenact each other's physical fantasies. Act II: some months later and Franz has moved in with Léopold becoming the devoted housewife in lederhosen to Léopold's increasingly cranky self. They argue, threaten, but eventually succumb to the safety of the boudoir to settle differences. Act III: Léopold's ex lover Vera (Anna Levine) arrives at the door to find Léopold in a new life and departs brokenhearted. Anna likewise arrives during one of Léopold's absences and for two days Franz and Anna try to recapture their previous affair. Upon Léopold's return, Anna finds Léopold appealing and behaves seductively. Vera arrives, reports that she is a transsexual now in a female form, and Léopold is delighted with the idea of a ménage a quarte. But it is Franz who has found his true life and love and how he deals with the proposed turn of events forms the rather surprising end to this film.

Each of the four actors is excellent and Ozon paces them well.
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