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The Host, Fri October 3
2014, 7:30 only

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2014, 7:30 only

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The Host

Fri October 3
2014, 7:30 only

It’s not often that the Cannes Festival du Film opens its arms to films about enormous mutant tadpoles. Bong's The Host, however, is anything but the typical monster mash. Already breaking all speed records for achieving cult status, the film is months away from its American release yet already has become a legend here and in South Korea where it broke the national box office records in under a month. SDFF tributee Scott Wilson plays an American military officer who sets off a terrifying chain of events. The film is filled with terrific action (effects were done by Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop, the famed California FX house The Orphanage and the Creature Workshop whose credits include the Babe movies). Bong also provides plenty of human drama. After an early beast-on-the-loose scene that’s been favorably compared to the opening in Steven Spielberg’s The War of the Worlds, we follow as a street vendor (Song Kang-ho, last seen in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) and his family (conveniently including an archery champion) do everything they can to rescue a daughter who was snatched by the beast. There’s some sly post-9/11 political commentary, plenty of slapstick laughs and, of course, the slimy monster. To give too much away would spoil the fun, but suffice to say that The Host simultaneously spoofs the monster-movie genre and takes it to a new level of creepy, insane and truly chilling fun. Bong has quickly developed a reputation as one of Asia’s directors to watch — his first films Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) and Memories of a Murder (2003) were both critical favorites — and he’s already working on a big-budget international co-production based on a French comic book. But, no matter what happens next, Bong has inserted himself into film history with this genre classic.

To see a trailer and read a review, visit InternationalFilmSeries.com.

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