Director Chan Wook-Park (Old Boy) is presenting his new vampire film, Thirst. The movie looks like it's going to have both dramatic and horror elements to it, and that the priest/vampire protagonist will appeal to large audiences.
Park says he didn't intend on making a movie about vampires, but originally intended on making a film about a Catholic priest. "He's not any old priest, but he's a most noble character and he sacrifices himself for others. He's really a saint-like person."
His translator explains, "What should I have him go through which is at the bottom of a person's morality. In trying to think about what a good situation would be, I thought about a vampire."
He continues, "You all know a priest conducts mass every day, and during the mass he would be drinking wine, right? And this wine of course represents Christ's blood. "
"Now he is actually drinking blood for his own good rather than mankind. He is not drinking wine as a symbol, but actual human blood. Imagine what he would be going through during this transition."
As for what attracted Park to the vampire tradition, Park says, "I always thought vampires were poor creatures. They can only drink blood, they can only go about at night, they have a very limited menu. So I always thought they were poor people."
The moderator pointed out that this vampire, the priest, was not hurt by daylight or crosses, and that he doesn't have fangs. Park responded, "If we went to an investor to get this film financed, and they asked how is this film different from them? If you tell them the vampires don't have fangs, this is a fresh take on the vampire genre."
"By taking things away, I was able to have a fresh take on the vampire genre." The moderator is commenting that this film seems like an anti-Twilight to resounding cheers from the remaining audience. The director responds, "My daughter hasn't seen my film yet, but if she found out this film was the anti-Twilight she might really hate my film."
He also says, "I realized I haven't made a lot of films my daughter could watch, which is why I made a film called I'm a Cyborg, and That's Ok" to which his daughter responded, "It's ok, but it's not Pirates of the Caribbean, is it?"
Park points out that removing the cliches of the vampire genre was intended to remove the mysticism associated with vampires. He said that in Thirst, vampirism is treated as a disease that must be dealt with medically, and that a vampire that's created this way loses the ability to change their desires. As an example he points out that the priest has an affair with his friend's wife.
Good stuff, indeed.
Check out the first trailer for Thirst below:
Source: Nathan Bloch