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Cannes Film Festival Newsmaker
to Screen at UW-Eau Claire Oct. 11-14

RELEASED: Oct. 4, 2007

"The Host" posterEAU CLAIRE — "The Host" (South Korea 2006), a creature-feature thrill ride and poignant human drama that was the talk of the Cannes Film Festival, will screen Oct. 11-14 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. "A terrific hybrid-genre fantasy and a seriously scary freakout" (The New York Times), the film will be presented at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

"I have seen 'The Host' twice and have every intention of watching it again," wrote The New Yorker magazine's Anthony Lane, who called the film "a thing of beauty, the perfect mixture of the silly and the grave."

The oldest son of the Park family, Gang-du (Song Kang-ho) works at a small food stand on the banks of the Han River in Seoul. Dozing on the job, he is awakened by his daughter, Hyun-seo (Ko a-sung), who is angry with him for missing a teacher-parent meeting at school. As Gang-du walks out to the riverbank with a delivery, he notices a crowd has gathered to take pictures and talk about something hanging from the bottom of the bridge. Bedlam ensues when a horrifying creature climbs onto the river bank and begins to crush and eat people. Gang-du and his daughter run for their lives, but the creature snatches the young girl and disappears into the river.

The government announces that the creature seems to be the host of an unidentified virus. Gang-du believes the worst until he receives a phone call from his daughter, who is frightened but very much alive. Gang-du makes plans to infiltrate the forbidden zone near the Han River to rescue Hyun-seo from the clutches of the horrifying Host.

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, "The Host" utilizes state-of-the-art special effects courtesy of a creative partnership between Weta Workshop ("The Lord of the Rings") and The Orphanage ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Sin City").

"A horror thriller, a political satire, a dysfunctional family comedy, and a touching melodrama, Bong Joon-ho's 'The Host' is also one helluva monster movie," wrote critic Roger Ebert. "At the movie's center is the Park family, a clan no less eccentric than the Hoovers of 'Little Miss Sunshine' ... When the monster nabs a Park from the shore (in one of the best fleeing-in-panic crowd scenes ever filmed), the clan reunites to seek revenge. If only they can fight their way through the political red tape. ...

"Like its magnificent beast, 'The Host' is wild, crazy, messy, preposterous — and all the better for it," Ebert concluded.

In Korean subtitled in English, "The Host" is rated R.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the Service Center, 715-836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby and will be sold at the door.

The film is sponsored by the International Film Society.

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JS/NW

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