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.