As this blog/site keeps growing, I’m going to be introducing several new columns into the fold. A couple days ago, there was Sleepers, and yesterday brought Score-Settling. Next up: Eyes Wide Open, where I’ll point all pupils toward a film that’s either extremely-indie, foreign, or just generally obscure, in an effort to inform and intrigue.
For the column’s debut, I’ve landed on writer-director Park Chan-wook‘s horror flick Thirst, a tale of religion and vampires that blew critics away at last month’s Cannes Film Festival. Not a surprise, since Chan-wook is the masterful guy behind 2003’s amazing revenge thriller Oldboy, among several other movie-lover favorites. Thirst, his first foray into the bloodsucker subgenre, is already a resounding success out in its native Korea, and now holds the the Cannes Fest’s Prix du Jury (Jury Prize) 2009 title. Just last week, Focus Features picked the film up for US distribution starting on July 31, limited to about 20 screens in only the major cities, I’m sure. I’ve yet to see Thirst for myself, but hopefully I can rectify that in the coming month.
To read more about the film’s plot and other details, including the trailer, kindly follow me beyond the jump:
Plot: Sang-hyun (played by top Korean star Song Kang-ho, of The Host) is a priest who cherishes life; so much so, that he selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project meant to eradicate a deadly virus. But the virus takes the priest, and a blood transfusion is urgently ordered up for him. The blood he receives is infected, so Sang-hyun lives – but now exists as a vampire. Struggling with his newfound carnal desire for blood, Sang-hyun’s faith is further strained when a childhood friend’s wife, Tae-ju (Kim Ok-vin), comes to him asking for his help in escaping her life. Sang-hyun soon plunges into a world of sensual pleasures, finding himself on intimate terms with the Seven Deadly Sins.
As you should’ve guessed by now, an American remake of Thirst is already entering its infantile stage, to which I have zero comments. Other than, “Punch yourselves in the balls, American studio executives.” And, no, I won’t give officially give credit to Twilight for this, the latest beneficiary in post-Edward’s vampire rebirth. Even though that’s clearly a big factor.
Here’s what Focus Features CEO James Schamus has to say about Thirst:
“Very I’ve ever seen, going back to Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo,’ have that kind of feel of love and at the same time has horror and a terrifying philosophical exercise in thinking through the greatest extremes of what human emotions and human ambitions can lead to.”
I’ll be keeping a close watch on Thirst here, fingers crossed for a screening in the closer-than-further future. In the meantime, consider yourselves alerted.