Magazine article Screen International

'Thirst Street': Tribeca Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Thirst Street': Tribeca Review

Article excerpt

Dir. Nathan Silver. US/France. 2017. 83 minutesA love-struck American flight attendant spirals into a sado-masochistic fixation with a loutish French bartender in Thirst Street, a tale of obsession directed by Nathan Silver in gauzy hues that recall the 1970s. While he's a prolific indie director, Thirst Street is the first film Silver has shot in France, with some French money and with much of the dialogue in French, often spoken badly by errant flight atten

Dir. Nathan Silver. US/France. 2017. 83 minutes

A love-struck American flight attendant spirals into a sado-masochistic fixation with a loutish French bartender in Thirst Street, a tale of obsession directed by Nathan Silver in gauzy hues that recall the 1970s. While he's a prolific indie director, Thirst Street is the first film Silver has shot in France, with some French money and with much of the dialogue in French, often spoken badly by errant flight attendant Gina (Lindsay Burdge from 2017's XX, and A Teacher, 2013).

The script weaponises stereotypes about French phallocratic sangfroid

A voice-over narration by Anjelica Houston gives the film the vocal patina of an emotionless fairy tale, yet the gonzo love story takes you to the far side of Fassbinder. Love hurts, especially when you're wearing an airline scarf. There's enough history and horror here to get the film nerds quite aroused, which means blog support for a strong run on the festival circuit. (Given the current fallout from United Airlines, anything with flight attendants might give a film a special frisson these days.) Arthouse dates could follow, especially if Lindsay Burdge's indie career continues to take off.

The matrix of Thirst Street is crazy love. Gina, whose lover has recently killed himself, has a one-night stand on a lay-over with Jerome (Damien Bonnard, who also plays her earlier lover). He's a barkeep in a strip joint that she and fellow flight attendants found in a guidebook. She's over the moon, and ditches her job to move to Paris, living across the street from this lout with a bad moustache who is as sleazy as they come. Each brushoff from the womanising Jerome is more degrading, as is her treatment when she finds work serving drinks in his basement club - where she's never quite sexy enough for Franz (Jacques Nolot), a boss sour enough to charm Abel Ferrara.

It's a dramatic torch song on the indie cheap as Gina drags herself through the litter of Jerome's world, more of a study in melodramatic self-destruction than anything too realistic. …

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