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Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000)

Bernard Giraudeau , Malik Zidi , François Ozon  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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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: #346,285 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Water Drops on Burning Rocks" on IMDb

Special Features


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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating film from a very talented director. July 15, 2002
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Ozon Updates Fassbinder in an Edgy Ménage a Quarte August 25, 2005
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ludivine Sagnier is a pretty hot little lady
I think this was Ludivine Sagnier's first movie, or maybe one of her first. She's between 18 and 22 years old in this film. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ron
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Sociopath
There is a lot going on in Water Drops On Burning Rocks (WDOBR): it is a film which rewards thoughtful analysis. Read more
Published 23 months ago by cs211
5.0 out of 5 stars good french movie
I like french movies they seem to do it best. It is a bisexual movie but its more than that. its about a young guy not really knowing what he wants if life then comes this older... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Patrick Townsend
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing and depraved.
This was a hard one not to like, because Malik Zidi is one of the most appealing men I've ever seen anywhere. Read more
Published on March 3, 2009 by J. Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars about this DVDfilm/movie water drops on burning rocks.......
This film story is basically about a young man hintersted in an older man where they praticed gay sex and later in the film where their woman came to find them and the later the... Read more
Published on December 12, 2008 by Ang Poon Kah
4.0 out of 5 stars Campy surface with murky depth
I watched this film because I am a fan of Ozon's quirky, witty, surprisingly deep work. As some have mentioned, this bears some similarity to 8 WOMEN, but this actually works... Read more
Published on November 5, 2006 by J. Kara Russell
4.0 out of 5 stars good
very unique film. Boy has older male lover and his ex girlfriend tries to rekindle an old relationship with boy. Odd, but worth a watch. Great cast, unique story.
Published on December 30, 2003 by Dance Dance Dance
4.0 out of 5 stars For those with eclectic tastes... a great art house film
Capsule review:
An entertainingly dark sexual farce about the antics of a cranky businessman and his 19 year-old male lover when the boy's ex-girlfriend tries to rekindle the... Read more
Published on September 22, 2003 by "mediaboy00"
3.0 out of 5 stars odd but good
To concentrate on the unbelievable elements of the plot is to miss the point I think. I'm not sure what the point is, but it's a funny film, and the characters are certainly... Read more
Published on July 15, 2003 by Mr. R. R. Allen
1.0 out of 5 stars Do NOT bother!
Okay, I'm not usually this harsh with my movie reviews. I usually like to give some leeway to movies, especially if they're *really* trying to express some sort of artistic quality... Read more
Published on November 11, 2002 by Dennis!
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