Nathan Silver cleverly, craftily, stealthily has composed an idiosyncratic wealth of low-to-the-ground no-to-low-budget movies as effectively as any young filmmaker thriving today. Since seeing his short “Anecdote” at Slamdance in in 2008 and through seven features (with another on the way), Silver has impressed with his bravado but also his obstinate stylistic thumbprint, with sound and image studiously designed to match each of his subjective sallies into the messiness of the subconscious unleashed. “Thirst Street” is one of two marvelous, bold visual feats released this year by cinematographer Sean Price Williams, and its fevered Paris is the equal of Williams’ New York City extremities in the parallel splendid neon mayhem of the Safdies’ “Good Time.” Lindsay Burdge is the hot center of “Thirst,” playing a flight attendant, depressed after the suicide of her lover, who meets up with a nightclub bartender (Damien Bonnard), with whom she becomes perversely obsessed, staying in France and causing deadly trouble all around. Silver and C. Mason Wells’ screenplay offers Burdge (“A Teacher”) ample opportunity to engage her substantial charisma as well as her ability to shift from one tremulous register to another with hardly a flicker between. Slim, expressive flights of this caliber into extremes of lust and romantic self-deception are all too rare. With Esther Garrel. 83m. (Ray Pride)
“Thirst Street” opens Friday, December 1 at Facets.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.