Pousse Café depicts the complex, often hilarious relationship between Rex, a retired British-American game show baron and his estranged son Gerald, a gay, New York, downtown performance artist. Gerald’s elegant, but aloof mother Claire has left Rex, to live “a more authentic life” with a shrimp boat captain. Unable to fathom her motives, Rex lures Gerald home to act as an intermediary, despite Gerald’s approval of Claire’s search for happiness.
Between Gerald’s unsuccessful forays to the shrimp docks, father and son settle in Rex’s penthouse to test and refine drinks for Rex’s retirement project, a cocktail book titled The Definitive Look at America’s Finest Mixed Libations.
The two men verbally spar over old family bitterness, popular culture, money, love, and the correct ingredients of hundreds of cocktail recipes. After a devastating event, to honor their new bond, Rex reveals his past to his son through sharing the secret of making the many-layered cocktail, the Pousse Café, the ultimate metaphor for Rex’s life.
Set in the late 90’s, Pousse Café takes a darkly humorous look at modern family relations, class, the archetypal struggles of father and son, and the history of cocktails as it has personified “The American Dream.”
Pousse Café (poos-café) is the first feature by writer, director, producer Susan Winter. While inspiration for the film came from the childhood experience of her post-WWII parent’s nightly “cocktail hours” in Florida, Winter’s film is an homage to the iconic, distinctly American movie genre, the cocktail comedy.
Pousse Café’s sound track follows the theme of the history of cocktails through renditions of classic cocktail music through the decades.
The music, the sexy, macro cocktail tableaus, and the surreal tropical Florida setting are all a part of the dramatic backdrop of this post-modern deconstruction of a classic film genre. It explores the humorous, complex, and ultimately poignant relationship of a father and his gay son through the history of an arcane piece of Americana, the cocktail.
Co-written with leads, Dominic Hamilton-Little and Anthony Hamilton, Winter’s Pousse Café was a festival favorite in the late-90’s and won Best Picture at Victoria Film Festival. Its original story is all the more relevant, and its highly stylized imagery contemporary, with LGBTQ issues fully in the cultural zeitgeist, and with the recent resurgence of the American Cocktail Culture. Check in for updates as Pousse Café approaches a renewed, viewing presence.
Susan Winter is Co-Creator/Writer/Producer of The Hive, a sixty-minute, episodic, comedy/drama series for cable, now in development with ShadowCatcher Entertainment. She directed and produced the stage performance of Pousse Café lead, Dominic Hamilton-Little’s one-man show, Fey Ways: Diatribe and Reminiscence, a full-house, hit performance at The Court Theater, in conjunction with the L.A. screening of Pousse Café. Winter began shooting a feature documentary of friend, Hollywood blacklisted director, John Berry making his final film, when he unexpectedly passed. Over a decade later, Winter is now translating the last, extraordinary week with Berry into a play, The Charge of A Star, referencing Berry’s early years at the Mercury Theater. Susan Winter is a member of the WGA. Her other original screenplay projects include Herculine and Orange City.