Asian Cinema Scene

Erotic Vampires. Park Chan-wook's Thirst will have its international premiere at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, but it's already opened in its native South Korea. In his review for Screen International, Darcy Paquet says that the "visually arresting vampire movie Thirst looks certain to create a stir: adopting a more lyrical mode than before, this complex and supremely inventive work sees the filmmaker back on top form."

I've read the knowledgeable Paquet at his site Koreanfilm.org for years, so his opinion is very encouraging, especially when you consider Park's best work includes Old Boy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and Joint Security Area. [Via In Contention.] Even better: those of us in the US don't have to wait long to see it. Focus Features will release Thirst in July.

Gentle Fish. If you haven't marked August 14 on your calendars yet, please do so now. That will mark the US theatrical debut of Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo, the master filmmaker's latest work of art. The plot revolves around a princess who just happens to be a goldfish, and her desire to grow legs and walk on land. She develops a friendship with a 5-year-old boy who tries to help her realize her dream. The poster and a still can be viewed at Ain't It Cool News.

Under John Lasseter's committed oversight, Walt Disney Pictures has done right by Studio Ghibli so far, making the original Japanese-language version available at some venues and ensuring that the English dubbing is as faithful as possible. While we wait for the inevitable English-language trailer, here's a teaser, evidently for its release in France, that is silky, poetic, and non-verbal.