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France, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Towering Over The Eiffel – New French Cinema)

Director: François Ozon

Based on a play by legendary German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Water Drops on Burning Rocks is a playful yet perverse study in sexual game playing. Structured around four tightly constructed acts, the film is set in Germany sometime in the 1970s. Franz, a naive 19-year-old is brought home by Leopold, a jaded, fatally charming middle-aged businessman. Role-playing and revelry soon make way for manipulation and jealousy as their domestic situation takes a series of surreal turns. First, Franz's nubile young girlfriend arrives, followed soon after by Leopold's transsexual ex-lover. With the action confined to Leopold's apartment, the stage is set for one bizarre night.

Employing the deadpan humour so typical of Fassbinder, director Frangois Ozon lifts the film from its stage origins to produce a film rich in cinematic flair. From its delightfully cheesy opening credit sequence to its final emotional showdown, Water Drops on Burning Rocks is a spirited addition to this year's festival.

See also...


A beautiful elaboration on personal loss and what it means to be left alone. In a film radically removed from his past works, Francois Ozon (Water Drops on Burning Rocks MIFF 2000) again shows ... More »


Direct from Cannes, the chameleon-like Francois Ozon returns to MIFF screens with two of his favourite actors, Charlotte Rampling (Under the Sand, MIFF 2001) and Ludivine Sagnier (Water Drops on ... More »


See the Sea, the most ambitious film in a recent trilogy of shorts and featurettes by prolific French director François Ozon, portrays the clash between the worlds of two women. Alone with her ... More »


Somewhere in a block of apartments a couple wakes up in the morning of January 1st, 2000. As they enter upon a new day at a leisurely pace they find themselves under an unexpected attack. Simple in ... More »

5 X 2

A festival favourite, François Ozon returns with a thoroughly affecting excavation of love. The forensic 5x2 won the Pasinetti Award, for Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi's remarkable performance as ... More »


Francois Ozon's feature-length debut—after more than a dozen shorts and featurettes (including MIFF 1998's See the Sea)—is an hilarious black comedy, irreverent, wacky, weird and ... More »

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