Water Drops On Burning Rocks

Adapted from an unfinished play written by German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder when he was 19 and never produced during his lifetime, this romantic quadrille unfolds on a single set, the small apartment where Leo (Bernard Giraudeau), Franz (Malik Zidi), Anna (Ludivine Sagnier) and Vera (Anna Thomson) engage in a cruel and unstated competition rooted...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

Adapted from an unfinished play written by German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder when he was 19 and never produced during his lifetime, this romantic quadrille unfolds on a single set, the small apartment where Leo (Bernard Giraudeau), Franz

(Malik Zidi), Anna (Ludivine Sagnier) and Vera (Anna Thomson) engage in a cruel and unstated competition rooted in baroque sexual one-upmanship. The games begin as Leo, a middle-aged insurance salesman, returns to his apartment with the youthful Franz. Ostensibly straight and engaged to Anna,

Franz allows himself to be seduced by Leo and moves in with him. Several months later, Franz and Leo have settled into an uneasy domestic routine punctuated by Leo's petulant outbursts and Franz's wounded attempts to mollify him. Leo goes away on a business trip and Anna appears, determined to

reassert her hold over Franz's heart and body. Though he resists at first, they become lovers again and Franz agrees to leave Leo. But Leo returns early from his trip, and soon after a fourth player in the romantic rondelet arrives at the door: Vera is Leo's old girlfriend... or is she his old

boyfriend? Ozon chose to shoot this psychosexual Huis Clos in the style of a middle-period Fassbinder film and frankly, if the actors weren't all speaking French you could easily take it for the real thing. For all its stylization, the script is remarkably perceptive in its

examination of destructive relationships (remember, Fassbinder was a teenager when he wrote it) and Ozon's additions and emendations blend seamlessly into the original text. The whole thing has the air of a parlor trick, but it's a good trick, beautifully acted and briefly interrupted by a

delirious dance scene that seems to have dropped in from a whole other movie at the same time that it seems perfectly apropos.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Adapted from an unfinished play written by German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder when he was 19 and never produced during his lifetime, this romantic quadrille unfolds on a single set, the small apartment where Leo (Bernard Giraudeau), Franz (Malik Zi… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »