Water Drops on Burning Rocks

Director: François Ozon

France-Japan| 1999. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 85 mins.

French director François Ozon’s third feature is based on an early play by Fassbinder. The plot is quintessential Fassbinder: a middle-aged businessman picks up a young straight, seduces him, installs him as his lover/housekeeper and begins to tire of him. Then the boy’s jilted fiancee shows up, soon followed by the transsexual who sacrificed everything for love of the businessman. Emotional recriminations ensue. With French actors playing German characters, quoting Rilke in German and in one show-stopping scene, grooving to German pop of the ’70s, it manages to be 90 per cent pure Fassbinder and 90 per cent pure Ozon.

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