Boy did I feel like a dilettante watching "Water Drops on Burning Rocks." A self-satisfied satire of sexual politics based on an unproduced play by a 19-year-old Rainer Werner Fassbinder before he became an artsy-fartsy German film director, it's the kind of exaggerated, elitist Euro-farce that cinema snobs enjoy just because they know the unwashed masses wouldn't.
But while I like to think I can swing both ways on the film snob pendulum, you'll have to count me among the latter group on this picture.
Directed by Francois Ozon ("Sitcom"), this caustic dark comedy about releationships based on sexual power stars Bernard Giraudeau as Leopold, an aging Lothario in the early 1970s who brings home effeminate 19-year-old Franz (Malik Zidi) and seduces him. Leo steals the young man away from his devoted fiancée and the two begin a live-in relationship in which the power is definitely tilted in the older man's favor.
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"Fast Food, Fast Women" is a considerably imperfect movie, the intangible charm of which has to grow on you.
Most everything wrong with it can be summed up by the fact that it absolutely screams "my first low-budget indie," yet writer-director Amos Kollek has been making movies for 15 years (all small independent films, straight-to-videos or quickie sequels).
It's uneven and under-rehearsed. It's clear that Kollek had only one or two takes to choose from in editing some scenes. It has all the trappings of a Woody Allen wannabe, including Allenesque opening credits, Allenesque handheld camerawork, an Allenesque ensemble ranging in age and recognition, Allenesque quirky characters (how about a stuttering hooker?) and nervously insecure Allenesque leads. The picture even co-stars Louise Lasser ("Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"), Woody Allen's ex-wife and frequent collaborator.
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