Gina (Lindsay Burdge), a flight attendant, hooks up with Jérôme (Damien Bonnard), a mustachioed bartender at a Parisian strip-club, after her husband commits suicide (a scene that’s drolly narrated by Anjelica Huston) in Nathan Silver’s Thirst Street. To Gina, Jérôme is a figure of fate, a man with “something in his eye,” as predicted by a fortune-teller—though that “something” turns out to be conjunctivitis, which he passes on to her. As Thirst Street’s title suggests, this film isn’t about love but rather coded lust—cue Gina’s self-destructive, obsessive spiral. Aided by Sean Price Williams’s hallucinatory cinematography, which gives the full spectrum of hyper-saturated colors a sinister air, Silver ramps up the intensity of Gina’s successive follies to a fever-pitch. But as far as tales of obsession go, this one offers little fresh insight—only a striking palette and off-kilter tone, which together establish a sense of borderline absurdism. The film’s Parisian setting is meant merely as a bitter irony: by the end, there’s not a shred of romance—only violence, derangement, and bitter self-delusion.
Published as part of Venice International Film Festival 2017.