Gyeongju  (Love Cafe) • South Korea Director: Lu Zhang (of A Quiet Dream fame) 5.83/10 Director Zhang is a Chinese born Korean. Gyeongju, like A Quiet Dream, centers on a cross cultural character. Choi Hyun, a Korean, teaches at Peking University and is married to a Chinese woman. He returns to Korea to attend a funeral and decides to spend a day hanging around in the city of Gyeongju where he remembers a tea house he visited seven years ago had an "erotic folk art" painting on the wall. The main theme of the film seems to be 'life goes on', things change, you can't go home, etc. The tea house has since been taken over by someone new, Gong Yoon-hee, (a Korean who is a 78th descendant of Confucius--or something like that, which has no real import on the story, it's just more cross-cultural seasoning). The meat of the film is the relationship that develops between Choi and Gong (who wallpapered over the erotic art piece). They enjoy moments of silence together, long walks, and drinking tea. The problem with the film is that all of the other characters suck. The first other character introduced performed bad eating-acting so grotesquely I almost punted the film. Next is a downer ex-fling who makes no sense in the film (except to say once again: "you can't go back"). Then there's a drunk professor who anyone in their right mind should fast-forward through like I did. And a jealous cop. The film is almost 2 1/2 hours long and the other characters take up less than an hour of material. They should have been cut. The film is predominantly a Before Sunrise kind of meet and greet, and that part of it is lovely. It could have been 90 minutes of bliss. Doing nothing. I'm not familiar with Korean cuisine, but I understand Chinese is all about the balance of salty and sweet. At one point Choi listens to a voice message from his Chinese wife and it made me sad there are no little film's like this coming from China. Oh syrupy sweet Mandarin. I enjoyed this Korean couple, and their tempo, a lot. I wish there was a version of the film that eliminated the disruptive characters, especially the drunk professor, the jealous cop, and the ex-fling whose screen time was bitchy and her existence (mostly) at odds with the rest of our picture of Choi. Too much salt.