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Thirst

Park Chan-wook's 2009 dark, erotic drama about a priest who becomes a vampire.

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Sacrifice, sin, and the possibililty of redemption - a bloody and brilliant Korean re-invention of the vampire mythos

  • Oct 30, 2009
Rating:
+5
Sang-Hyun, a Roman Catholic priest, develops urgent cravings after he selflessly volunteers to be guinea pig in a dangerous medical experiment. He resists at first, but thirst has a way of overcoming both scruples and vows. It's a story about faith and redemption, a deeply romantic and moving love story ... and a story about murder, mayhem and sex. Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK), won the Jury Prize at Cannes for this stylish and bloody reinvention of the vampire mythos.

This is Park Chan-Wook at the top of his game, and to my mind the very best of an outstanding resume. The acting is superb, with Korea's leading actor Kang-ho Song (The Host, and Memories of Murder) as the priest and Ok-Vin Kim as his lover and nemesis. The imagery is powerful and provocative; the camera plunges, leaps and crawls and yet the camera's smooth but relentless tracking of its subject matter never interrupts the precise and stylized framings, and always works in the service of the story. Constantly surprising for its unique approach to capturing what is on screen, the cinematography never feels like a gimmick, or like style for its own sake (a complaint one might raise about some of Park Chan-Wook's earlier works, however fascinating they are). This is a film that will affect you - it is provocative, funny, frightening, and always fascinating. Highly recommended for lovers of inventive cinema; not for the timid or squeamish.

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May 27, 2011
I enjoy films with powerful and provocative imagery. Thanks for the recommendation, Nathan!
 
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More Thirst (Bakjwi) reviews
review by . August 02, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
poster
            Winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and recipient of critical and box-office acclaim in Asia, I jumped at the chance to see Park Chan Wook’s (Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) latest film in a limited screening engagement in San Francisco. “THIRST” is a horror-satirical drama that explores the dark bestial side of humanity that is quite bizarre, even creepy on occasion, but never for one minute does …
review by . June 24, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
Thirsty For More!!!
Favorite Movie Quote: "Ravage my body sworn to chastity leave me with no pride, and have me live in shame."      Should the name Chan-wook Park sound relatively familiar, it is. More than almost any other living Korean film-maker, Park solidified his well-earned reputation with the sleeper hit Oldboy. Although I've enjoyed & certainly respected his decisions when it comes to other works, I couldn't fathom anything so masterful nor as mature. Thirst actually …
Quick Tip by . May 14, 2011
posted in ASIANatomy
Caption
After Park Can-Wook's Vengeance Trilogy, the acclaimed Korean director goes forth with a harrowing fable about vampirism and the life of a priest who gets turned into one of the undead.      Sexy, sometimes disturbing and definitely a thematic affair, Park uses his signature style of blending symbolisms, dark humor and themes that bring the viewer to ask questions about what he has seen. Exquisitely acted and definitely a must-see, "Thirst" is one of my best of …
Quick Tip by . May 27, 2011
Caption
Thirst is at once an interesting film. From the standpoint of a vampire historian, the film manages to go places and try things that haven't been attempted in vampire films before. At times gruesome, darkly funny, graphically violent, overtly erotic, and ultimately disturbing, Thirst manages to create a flavor (no pun intended) that is unique among horror films. However, it may not be a taste that everyone will appreciate.         The story follows Sang-hyun, a …
Quick Tip by . November 19, 2009
So far, this one is making my list for top 10 films of 2009 to see although 2009 isn't over yet.
About the reviewer
Nathan Andersen ()
Ranked #19
I teach philosophy at Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.      I run an award-winning International Cinema series in Tampa Bay (www.eckerd.edu/ic), and am co-director of … more
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About this movie

Wiki



A 2009 film directed by Park Chan-Wook (director of Oldboy) based on Emile Zola's novel. The film is the story about a priest who becomes a vampire because of a flawed experiment. In turn, this priest experiences all the powerful, strong frailties of being a flawed human being and comes face to face with his own conscience and lust for a woman named Tae-Ju.

Screened in San Francisco in April 2009.

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Details

Director: Park Chan-wook
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Horror
Release Date: April 30, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Seo-Gyeong Jeong
DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
Runtime: 133 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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