From Park Chan-wook, the director of the brutal 'Vengeance' trilogy - Sympathy For Mr Vengeance, Old Boy and Sympathy For Lady Vengeance - comes a surprising twist: a light-hearted comedy romance.
I'm A Cyborg But That's OK features up-and-coming starlet Im Soo-jung (Lump Sugar) as a girl who thinks she is a cyborg and cannot eat. Pan-Asian pop star Rain, also known as Jung Ji-hoon, makes his film debut as a mental patient who thinks he can steal other people's personality traits - and help the new cyborg girl on the psychiatric ward.
'On the whole, this should be the one light and bright film that shines on the dark canvas of my filmography,' says Park.
The $3m film was financed as a part of leading Korean investor/distributor CJ Entertainment's HD initiative, which also includes projects such as The City Of Violence - picked up by The Weinstein Company in 2005. I'm A Cyborg But That's OK saw its international premiere at an HD Gala Screening in the Berlinale Competition in February.
'I always wanted to tell a story about patients in a mental hospital,' explains Park. 'When I was doing post on Old Boy, I thought of an ensemble piece with patients sitting in a circle, taking part in group therapy. Then my thinking developed to, 'What would it be like when the doctors are not around''
'More recently, I had a dream about a girl who shot bullets out of her hands and dropped shells from her mouth. That was too ordinary, but I took the other idea of a delusional patient and combined the two,' he says.
Park thought about casting Rain after watching him perform at a local awards ceremony, explaining: 'He had a vital energy and a dynamic youthfulness.'
Although local box office at home for Cyborg has been comparatively low for a Park film - his last film, Lady Vengeance, saw 3.7 million admissions - Cyborg has done decent business for a film with experimental leanings, at 681,000 admissions.
Sales agent CJ Entertainment has already sold the film to France (Wild Side, which handled Old Boy) and logged early sales at last year's American Film Market for multiple Asian territories on the strength of the director's name and Rain's popularity.
I'M A CYBORG BUT THAT'S OK
A girl who thinks she is a cyborg meets a boy who thinks he can steal other people's personalities.
Producer: Moho Film
Key cast: Im Soo-jung, Jung Ji-hoon (aka Rain)
International sales: CJ Entertainment