Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Park Chan-wook's Thirst

Finally. And it's pretty damn entertaining.

The built in conflicts - belief in a Christian God vs. atheism, good vs. evil, sexuality vs. chastity, reverence for life vs. disdain for humans, polar opposite reactions to vampirism - work well in terms of grinding up against one another. While obvious they are nonetheless effective, and that counts.

Park spoke after the screening, and something he said really made sense; that he purposely stripped off some of the vampire conventions, most notably fangs, in order to get at the essence of vampirism, or closer to it.

This is a flick that Bunuel and Hitch would love; the perversity, eroticism, the operatic sense of doom... all of that and ample dashes of humor add up to pretty entertaining stuff.

That said, Park's one of the best feature directors going these days. He's just so self-assured, confident and at ease with his actors, cinematographer, editor... you just sense his guiding hand everywhere. Just like with Bunuel or Hitch.

It's not in the same league as his Oldboy, which, strangely enough I didn't write about while feeling it's easily one of the best flicks I've seen in the past 10 years. Now with Thirst I know Oldboy wasn't just a fluke.