The festival's obvious standout, Francois Ozon's Water Drops on Burning Rocks (opening at Film Forum next month), is the French director's adaptation of a play Fassbinder wrote when he was 19 (it was never produced). This delirious, beautifully performed chamber piece is filmed in an impeccable, minimally glossy style evocative of The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant. In Ozon's capable hands, Fassbinder's comically hyperbolized psychosexual mind games still achieve a giddy resonance. Transcending homage and postmodern experiment, Water Dropsis also more direct and honest about sexuality and desire than most films in the program would ever think or dare to be.
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