Among established filmmakers, few have moved as fascinatingly from film-to-film quite like So Yong Kim. The writer-director recently moved from the austere, critically acclaimed Korean picture “Treeless Mountain” to the upcoming “For Ellen,” a quintessentially American indie about a tortured rock star dealing with custody issues with his young child. However, it looks like the writer-director, who has formed an indie super couple with “Exploding Girl”/"Jack and Diane" director Bradley Rust Gray, is about to paint a wider canvas.
“The working title is called ‘Seventy,’ ” Kim told The Playlist regarding her next film. Currently writing the project, she says the picture will death with, “a very old mom, like a matriarch of a family. The mom’s the main character, but there’s a whole supporting cast, so it’s like an organism that’s moving, and fighting with each other. It’s about a mom who’s not doing so well, and her relationship with her children. But it’s an ensemble piece, and I’m kind of more experienced in following a single character’s journey, so now I’m getting into this relationship stuff that’s very complex. But the mom is nearing the end of her life, so she’s experienced so much more than my previous characters, so it’s a lot of learning and trying to understand that stage.”
It sounds like a lofty project, though she won’t go it alone, likely re-teaming with Gray, who produced “For Ellen.” “On set, it’s very clear who’s dealing with what,” she says of their working relationship. “I don’t get on his territory, he doesn’t get on my territory. I think we always want to have each other on set, so we can always have someone to cover our backs. If I’m running late, or feeling very anxious about something, I can always say, do I need to re-do that? And I know he would tell me straight-up, and I think it’s the same thing for me.”
It’s a working relationship not without it’s own built-in difficulties, however. “We have two kids, and it’s gotten a little bit more intense since the last two films that we shot on location,” she offers. “But I think we’ll keep supporting each other, producing or directing-wise.”
It sounds like another intresting direction for Kim, but until then, you can check out her latest, “For Ellen,” when it opens on September 5th.