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View Full Version : Film Night with JB. Thirst.


JB40
12th July 2010, 01:53 AM
it seems like you can't move for vampires these days. Hollywood is in cash in mode trying to repeat the success of the twilight franchise, which is a shame. The Twilight vampires are pallid EMO's full of teenage angst. Instead of the epic, blood and thunder love story of Coppolla's 'Dracula' we have moping teenagers worried about their virginity. Using all the familiar vampire tropes, but draining all the blood out of them.
But here to save the vampire genre from terminal anaemia is Chan-Wook-Parks 'Thirst'. This movie does away with most of the vampire cliches [no fangs or garlic, no wooden stakes through the heart]. Park also ignores the contemporary genre additions too. These vampires don't wear Gucci suits, are not intellectually decadent, and don't live in houses designed by Phillip Stark. Parks story is told with a mundane, domestic backdrop, there is nothing glamorous about these most human of monsters. The kitchen sink details of everyday life lend an absurdity to the supernatural goings on. Our hero, the priest, even becomes a vampire by a medical accident [bad blood transfusion], removing any drama from his infection. In fact none of the drama comes from anything familiar to any other vampire movie [except Del Toro's 'Cronos']. this movie is constantly full of surprises.
It's typical of Chan-Wook-Park that this movie is so full of ideas. Too many to produce a coherent story, it doesn't have the narrative pull of 'Oldboy' the movie that first brought him international acclaim. There are so many twists and turns that it becomes episodic and loses the story thread. it's loosely based on a novel by Emile Zola, but this only takes up the middle third of the movie and is resolved long before the end. the rest of the movie is stuffed full of riffs on ideas. The priests attempts to stay true to his religious beliefs [he feeds off coma victims in the local hospital, using the IV's as a straw], his sexual awakening, and his refusal to kill for his supper. The female leads liberation when she experiences her vampire super-powers for the first time. The claustrophobic, disfunctional family. The blind monk who begs to be turned into a vampire so that he can see again. All these ideas are thrown at the viewer, some stick, some don't but the movie is never less than fascinating.
A Korean model called OK-Bin-Kim plays the preists lover and fellow vampire, and she is a revelation. Her beautiful face is so versatile it changes from innocent child to scheming lady macbeth in the blink of an eye.She gives the movie an erotic charge which almost becomes the main theme of the movie. When she's not on the screen the movie sags a little.
Kang Ho song plays the priest with a deadpan, buster keaton expression. And the movie has keatonesque humor too. There's a deadpan absurdity that runs through the whole movie culminating in a Road Runner/Wily Coyote style slapstick finale.
It's a low-fi affair [compared to the sleek looking 'Oldboy'], and the gory details are repulsively clinical. There's an earthiness to it that makes the vampire trimmings extremely visceral. The sex scenes are by turns touching and repulsive. And nothing pans out the way you expect it to. Which means not everyone will have the temperament to enjoy this movie. But if you're sick of hollywood cliche, and you are open to enjoy new experiences, then this film can be very rewarding. Like all of Parks films, you will never have seen anything like it before.

I give it 4/5

San Diego
12th July 2010, 02:00 AM
Did you have popcorn? :evil:

nani
12th July 2010, 06:00 AM
Consider this a bookmark so I remember to come back (anaemia does things to the brain cells).

Vampire movies, that's my thing :-)

nani
12th July 2010, 02:56 PM
JB, I was going to ask how you'd rank this movie, then saw you gave it a 4/5.

Why not the whole 5? and where would it rank alongside Nosferatu, Cronos, Blade and Moon Child?

I haven't seen Thirst yet so don't give too much away ;-)

JB40
12th July 2010, 03:08 PM
I didn't give it 5 because it was a bit of a jumble, not quite disciplined enough. But it is a major player in the recent vampire genre. Along with a movie called 'let the right one in'.
it reminded me very much of Werner hertzog's version of Nosferatu [not the original silent version]. The same ghoulish humor. And the similarities with the Spanish movie 'Cronos' are striking.
it's difficult to place it alongside other vampire movies because it's approach is so different. it doesn't use any of the iconography of other vampire movies. And that makes it unique. If you love vampire movies this may not be your cup of tea. But on it's own terms it's completely original.

San Diego
12th July 2010, 03:10 PM
Pffft fine!!! Ignore my very important question..

oLdbOi
12th July 2010, 03:17 PM
Thirst

JB, I was going to ask how you'd d'rank this movie, then saw you gave it a 4/5.....

my Thirst (first) vison as I saw this response from Nani...:)

bOi

JB40
12th July 2010, 03:25 PM
Pffft fine!!! Ignore my very important question..




And you are ???

nani
12th July 2010, 03:57 PM
I didn't give it 5 because it was a bit of a jumble, not quite disciplined enough. But it is a major player in the recent vampire genre. Along with a movie called 'let the right one in'.
it reminded me very much of Werner hertzog's version of Nosferatu [not the original silent version]. The same ghoulish humor. And the similarities with the Spanish movie 'Cronos' are striking.
it's difficult to place it alongside other vampire movies because it's approach is so different. it doesn't use any of the iconography of other vampire movies. And that makes it unique. If you love vampire movies this may not be your cup of tea. But on it's own terms it's completely original.

I like 'Let the right one in', it's grimy yet the relationship between the boy and girl is touching.

There've been comical elements from some vampire movies and that's part of the attraction, as you said 'ghoulish humour'. I can't remember the name but in one movie, Nick Cage tries on vampire teeth. I PMSL and still do.

I would rank Cronos as my 4/5.

nani
12th July 2010, 03:58 PM
Thirst

JB, I was going to ask how you'd d'rank this movie, then saw you gave it a 4/5.....

my Thirst (first) vison as I saw this response from Nani...:)

bOi

You crack me up @ oLdbOi

Poesiemau
13th July 2010, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the tip JB. I agree with you that the Twilight movies are a bit on the soft side, however i think the 3rd part is much better than the first two. Doesn't mean you will like it though lol. It's a matter of opinions. I hope one day they will make a movie or serie out of the Anita Blake books (written by Laurel K. Hamilton). The books are an excellent mixture of beautiful people, erotic charge, humor and gore. :)