Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Indie director Nathan Silver (Exit Elena, Soft in the Head, both VIFF 13) takes a step up with this blackly comic thriller about amour fou, set largely in Paris. Flight attendant Gina (Lindsay Burdge), reeling from her lover’s suicide, shares a night of passion with sleazy Parisian nightclub bartender Jérôme (Damien Bonnard). Deciding that he’s the love of her life—despite the evidence suggesting that for him she was just another roll in the hay—she moves to Paris, secretly takes an apartment across from his, and begins to stalk him… Silver elicits a high-octane performance from Burdge, who walks a tightrope between the abject and the deliriously over-the-top. It is a performance that is, frankly, astonishing, and it turns what is already a memorably twisted tale of neurotic love into an unforgettable one.
"Silver tackles melodrama in Thirst Street, fusing its emotional bigness with his unique form of quotidian portraiture without one cancelling the other out… Silver’s mastery of tone recalls other filmmakers who’ve mixed tragedy and comedy to unmooring, exhilaratingly ambiguous ends, such as Alan Rudolph, Pedro Almodóvar, and Claude Chabrol… Collaborating with the extraordinary cinematographer Sean Price Williams, Silver bathes Thirst Street in a vibrantly hazy tapestry of colours that might be collectively called ‘rainbow noir,’ rendering a burlesque house of our movie-fed fantasies—a place employing people with dashed dreams who work to briefly enable the sensual fantasies of the clientele…"—Chuck Bowen, Slant