With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, July 27, 2009

ACF 351: THIRST to open in NY, LA & SF on August 31, 2009 with more cities to follow

Plan to do three things with regard to Park Chan-wook's THIRST:

1. See it
2. Savor it
3. Spread the word

I got to see it a few nights ago at a pre-release screening in New York, and really cannot say enough good things about the film. It's the story of Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) a priest who volunteers for a medical experiment seeking a cure for a virus. The only survivor out of 500 volunteers, his efforts do not lead to a cure, but instead turn him into a vampire. He finds himself irresistibly drawn to sensual pleasures, particularly those offered by the delectable flesh of Tae-ju (Kim Ok-vin) the wife of one of his childhood friends. And, of course, he has a powerful thirst for human blood.

Entertaining, with wonderful comic moments, it's not at all pandering or low-brow. Thoughtful and intelligent, neither is it pretentious. Thirst is quite simply a perfect synthesis, simultaneously both a genre and an art-house film, but one that transcends the faults that often mar both.

There are no traditional vampire teeth and no transformations into bats to be found here. On the other hand there are, in addition to the great comic relief moments I've already alluded to, scenes of magnificent sensuality as well as others that are truly terrifying. And the special effects are perfect, somewhat low-key so they're really effective.

Kim Ok-vin (left) & Shin Ha-kyun (right)

Both leads actors are outstanding, but Ms. Kim is particularly impressive, probably because her role calls for greater range and transformation than . The supporting cast also is stellar. Kim Hae-sook plays Madame Ra, Tae-ju's mother-in law, who has a tendency to overindulge in alcohol. Shin Ha-kyun is Kang-woo, her son and Tae-ju's poor excuse for a husband. Oh Dai-soo (who starred in Park's Oldboy) is a member of the mahjong group that includes the other characters.

Director Park Chan-wook

Park Chan-wook has done it again: Thirst is nothing less than a transcendant masterwork. I predict that this film will be very successful in the U.S. and that it'll find a broader audience than one might normally expect. It most definitely deserves both. (It wasn't for nothing that the film won the Jury Prize award at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival.)

After opening in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, it will go into wider release in many other cities. Check your local listings, or use the link to the film's official website provided below to find out when and where it'll be playing near you.


OPENING DAY SCHEDULE: Friday, July 31st, 2009

New York

Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema (143 East Houston Street, near 2nd Avenue)

Los Angeles

Laemmle’s Sunset 5 (8000 Sunset Boulevard, at Crescent Heights)

San Francisco

Landmark’s Bridge Theatre (3010 Geary Boulevard, near Blake Street)

THIRST Official Site




THIRST Production Notes

THIRST Facebook Page

Thirst is A Focus Features Release

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