Zhang Lu to return with romantic comedy ‘Gyeongju’

By Korea Herald

Third-generation Korean-Chinese filmmaker collaborates with Park Hae-il and Shin Min-a

  • Published : May 14, 2014 - 20:34
  • Updated : May 14, 2014 - 20:34

Renowned filmmaker Zhang Lu is making a comeback with a romance film starring Korean top stars Park Hae-il and Shin Min-a.

The third-generation Korean-Chinese filmmaker, who was born and raised in China’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, has been living and working in Korea since 2012. In December he showcased his first documentary, “The Scenery,” which explores the lives of migrant workers in Korea.
A scene from Zhang Lu’s latest film “Gyeongju.” (Invent Stone)

The upcoming comedy, titled “Gyeongju,” deals with Beijing University professor Choi Hyeon (Park Hae-il), who takes off for Gyeongju, one of Korea’s ancient capitals, located in today’s North Gyeongsang Province. He visits a cafe where he thinks he saw an obscene painting while hanging out with a late friend about seven years earlier. There, he meets Yoon-hee (Shin Min-a), who runs the cafe, and rather abruptly asks her where the “naughty” painting is.

Prior to “Gyeongju,” Zhang made numerous films that depicted the lives of ethnic Koreans in China as well as other marginalized individuals. His first short, “11” (2001), a tale of an 11-year-old boy who has trouble fitting in, was screened in competition at the Venice Film Festival.

Zhang’s 2005 feature “Grain in Ear,” which tells the story of an ethnic Korean single mother who makes a living selling kimchi in China, was presented at the Cannes International Film Festival.

In 2007, his “Desert Dream,” about a North Korean defector and her little son in a town on the China-Mongolia border, was viewed in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Zhang has traveled a lot to shoot his films. “Grain in Ear” was filmed in a small town near Beijing, and “Desert Dream” in Mongolia. His 2009 film “Dooman River,” the story of an ethnic Korean boy who lives in a Chinese province bordering North Korea, was shot in China’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture.

He shot his 2008 film “Iri” in Korea, along with his 2013 documentary “The Scenery” and the upcoming “Gyeongju.”

“Gyeongju” is scheduled to be released in theaters on June 12.

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com)