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Vampire romance 'Thirst' to screen

RELEASED: March 3, 2010

poster for ThirstEAU CLAIRE — "Thirst" (South Korea 2009), a vampire romance that won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival, will screen March 11-14 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The International Film Society will present the film at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

Song Kang-ho ("The Host") stars as a devoted Catholic priest who selflessly volunteers to test a new vaccine and is stricken by a deadly virus. A tainted blood transfusion brings him back to life — but transforms him into a vampire. Struggling with his newfound carnal desire for blood, the priest is further tested when a friend's wife (Kim Ok-vin) seeks his help in escaping her unhappy life. The priest is seduced into a world of sensual pleasures and fights to maintain what is left of his humanity.

"'Thirst' is a brilliant and gruesome work of cinematic invention as well as a passionate and painful human love story," wrote Salon. "Its cinematic daring, narrative wildness and, yes, full-throated romance make it the best vampire love story of the year."

Director Park Chan-wook ("Old Boy") identified the source of his story as Emile Zola's 1867 novel, "Therese Raquin." The 133-minute film is subtitled in English and rated R for graphic bloody violence, disturbing images, strong sexual content, nudity and language.

Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. Community members who wish to attend campus films must purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby. An individual membership costs $4; a family membership costs $10.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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