Tribeca 2017: Thirst Street
Following up his previous Tribeca premiere Actor Martinez, writer-director Nathan Silver moves into bold territory with Thirst Street a Paris-set story about the crazy things people do in pursuit of a romantic connection.
Narrated by Anjelica Huston, we follow American flight attendant Gina (Lindsay Burge), suffering from the self-inflicted death of her previous lover, who has an unexpected one night stand with bartender Jerome (Damien Bonnard) while on a layover. Happy to have felt something from being with him, Gina decides to move to Paris, renting an expensive apartment right across the street from Jerome's apartment and getting a job as a waitress at his bar. She believes that they're destined to be together - though its apparent that she can't read between the lines as the introduction of Clémence (Esther Garrel), Jerome's ex who fronts a rock band, creates friction.
As evidenced by its title, Thirst Street is driven by lust, obsession, and voyeurism of a sexual nature. While driven by romantic, it's also hard to watch at times from seeing the mentally unhinged Gina's heart broken again and again, as she tries to fit into a place where nobody really wants her. Burdge, who previously worked with Silver in Actor Martinez, is striking as she forms a complex portrait of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and while there are comedic touches, the work she does here is an incredibly serious in its dedication.
The film is shot in glorious fashion by cinematographer Sean Price Williams, who previously worked with Silver on his short Hernia but is better known for such recent independent films as Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up Philip and Josh and Benny Safdie's Heaven Knows What. Williams utilizes a full-bodied range of techniques, from the neon-colored facade of the Paris club where Jerome works, to the soft-focused moments of grandeur which Gina experiences throughout, and even some De Palma-esque split diopter shots.
Thirst Street is nothing short of magnificent and among Silver's best works to date. The story (co-written by C. Mason Wells) is fascinating, the performances are full-bodied and rich, and the look/sound are hypnotic in their composure. It's one of the highlights of Tribeca this year, and not to be missed.