Dir: So Yong Kim. US-Can 2005.83mins.

Some of the most interesting films in this year's Berlinale screened in the supposedly off-off Forum sidebar,with In Between Days - a small butmemorable teen romance - a case in point.

So Yong Kim's feature is, asthe title hints, a work that takes its time getting not very far,and impatient audiences will find its crawling pace a problem. But the film isso good on the loneliness of the stranger in a strange land, and the subtlechanges of temperature that regulate teen love affairs, that it makes aconvincing case for the slow approach. It's never going to play the marquees,but has the back-burner potential to play well in mature arthouseterritories. In Between Dayspremiered in competition at Sundance.

One of the fascinatingthings about this emotionally truthful little gem is its between-continentssetting. Most of the dialogue is in Korean, the rest in an unplaceableglobal American idiom; and the impersonal, snow-spattered cityscapes, theflyovers and pylons that provide the backdrop to the story, could be anywherein the northern world.

But this is the whole point.Aimie (Jiseon Kim), theapathetic, doodling teenage girl who is the film's central focus, is adisplaced young Korean living in an immigrant netherworld that happens to beCanada but might as well be Mars. We watch her take English lessons, wash thedishes, fail to communicate with her separated mother, and hang out with Tran (Kang),a cool but probably rather superficial boy of her own age. Aimee is clearlysmitten, but Tran just sees her as a friend who happens to be a girl.

Hardly an original plotspring; but director So Yong Kim and his co-writer andproduction partner Bradley Rust Gray manage to freshen up the old chestnut byobserving the dynamics of unrequited first love - the gifts, the jealousies,the unanswered phone calls, the laconic choreography of passion - in authentic,slow and often painful detail.

Visually, the story isnarrated largely by alternating external shots of anonymous suburban wastelandswith tight close-ups on faces - mostly that of Aimie, whose puffy teen features keep most of what shefeels inside.

Emotional pointers are sparebut effective, like the correspondence Aimie sends toher absentee father; or the tragic fact that after Tran buys her Aimie a day-glo cookie as animpulse gift, she gives up her English course to buy him an expensive silverbracelet with her refunded fees.

Faces are viewed throughglass - suggesting not only the distance between Aimieand Tran but the observer status of both in this alien society, which is not somuch uncaring as totally absent. The one time that we might expect them tointeract with the locals - when Tran steals a car radio - it turns out to belongto an immigrant African family.

Production companies

The Film Farm

International sales


So Yong Kim
Bradley Rust Gray

So Yong Kim
Bradley Rust Gray

Sarah Levy

So Yong Kim

Main cast

Jiseon Kim
Taegu Andy Kang
Bokja Kim
Gina Kim
Mike Park