• Warning: Spoilers
    Pusan Film Festival Reviews 6: In Between Days (Kim So-yong)

    Despite the Korean name attached to the director's credit it's a Canadian production shot in wintry Toronto, directed by a woman who spent most of her life in Los Angeles.

    Restless, unhappy Aimee is a Korean immigrant who spends her days loafing with only friend and fellow Korean immigrant Tran, who she's too shy to tell she's in love with. Her mother is overworked and distant, she's out of place in Canadian culture, and spends her time drawing in her notebook during her English class at school until she finally gets too bored and quits. Most of the film is shot in Korean, and it isn't until about two-thirds of the way through that Aimee demonstrates that she can actually speak English. The lack of eventfulness in the film is punctuated by static shots of the Toronto skyline and and Aimee voicing the feelings she represses in imaginary conversations with her departed father, who lives back in Korea. Though Tran probably feels the same way for Aimee as she does about him, she waits too long to tell him - and by then he's drifted towards a flashier, squeaky-voiced Asian-Canadian girl.

    "In Between Days" is a fine debut film about loneliness and displacement that gracefully manages to avoid falling into art film cliché. It's an incredibly rare thing to see this degree of assuredness and faith in silent moments, brief glances, and meaning underlying seemingly insignificant conversation from an American filmmaker. The film relies on simplicity and quiet strength when so many American "indie" films wallow in their own pretentious, desperate attempts to make saying nothing at all sound profound.