Thirst Street Screen 88 of 8 reviews

Thirst Street

2017

Thirst Street Poster
  • Nathan Silver is no stranger to docu-art hybrid, but his latest directorial effort is decidedly not that. His most visually audacious work to date, co-written with C. Mason Wells, evokes the textures of the past, of Walerian Borowczyk and Andrzej Żuławski at once sharpened and softened into something playful. Sean Price Williams lends an excellent eye, dousing grainy video in boudoir reds and louche neons in thisappealing pastiche whose pretentiousness maintains a high degree of accessibility.

  • Of the countless laudable qualities of the Crown Heights-based director (and Tribeca Film Festival regular) Nathan Silver’s Thirst Street, perhaps most satisfying is that the swiftness of the narrative never feels hasty. Hugo Lemant’s often sharp cuts avoid any sense of apprehension, instead building a comprehensive framework for Gina’s descent along the trajectory of an unhinged Żuławski character.

  • Silver takes one of the most politically disreputable of subgenres—in which a female stalks a male, embodying each person's respective, stereotypical fears of rejection and obsession—and turns it upside down... Paradoxically, the film is so empathetic that one doesn't know where to place their empathy, and 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.

  • Though there’s something theoretical, almost mathematical, about Gina’s passion (which seems borrowed from other movies), it provokes free and energetic performances from Bonnard and the rest of the supporting cast... Burdge infuses her rigidly and scantly defined role with tremulous vulnerability, and Silver, aided by the splashy palette of Sean Price Williams’s cinematography, evokes derangement with a sardonic wink.

  • A fascinating film precisely because it never drops the kayfabe. Are we supposed to be taking it seriously, as a case of deranged obsession and self-abasement, brought on by a not-too-distant trauma? Or is it actually a jet-black comedy about a horrible, embarrassing woman who refuses to face up to reality?

  • Now would be as good a time as any to confess a friendly acquaintance with the involved talent here, as well as feeling a powerful ambivalence towards every new film of Silver’s. And I think this is the desired effect: With the willfully lurid suicide scene, the intrusion of Angelica Huston’s narration, and above all the spacey opacity of Burdge’s performance, which has more than a touch of Julie Hagerty to it, Thirst Street rejects every entry to empathy, a real pebble-in-the-sock agitation.

  • The movie is high on baroque stylishness and low on psychological weight but Burdge, one of the American indie scene’s most consiently compelling performers, carries the film pretty far.

  • The movie finds Silver, a committed explorer of emotional extremes, wallowing in sordid unpleasantness; in many scenes, women — trapped underneath a probing camera and gaudy shocks of color — are seen stripping or fielding insults from men. But when Gina's obsession drives the action, the movie sparks to life; the concluding act, in which she transforms into an amateur sleuth, following Jérôme around in the name of misguided love, is a riveting and oddly freeing cringe-fest.

More Links