Archive of films For Ellen / For Ellen

2012, 94 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2012

A struggling musician named Joby (vividly portrayed by Paul Dano from There Will Be Blood) tries to reconnect with his estranged partner and their little girl, for whom he refuses to give up the fight against his internal demons. This low-key picture gets so close to its protagonists, even unpleasantly so, that it makes for an exceptionally intimate experience.


Joby plays in a band and is totally dedicated to his art. But his musical ambitions, as well as his private life, are on the point of collapse. He’s in the midst of divorce proceedings when he learns that his incompetent lawyer has failed to ensure him legal access to his beloved daughter Ellen. Distraught, Joby puts up a furious fight for the little girl – though it may already be too late. This visceral film has the courage to place at its centre a basically unlikeable outsider. His motivation, however, is so genuine that we cannot help but side with him, at least on a rational level. This muted but uncomfortably up-close portrait of the hero makes for an exceptionally intense cinematic experience. Instead of unambiguous solutions, the film aims to capture particular moods as we see the protagonist veering between indecision and obsessive single-mindedness.

About the director

So Yong Kim

So Yong Kim (b. 1968, Pusan, South Korea) came to the United States in 1979, and her education involves studied in fine art and video art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2003 she and Bradley Rust Gray cofounded Soandbrad productions, where they created her films, as well as Gray’s movie Salt, screened at Karlovy Vary in 2003. After several shorts, she debuted with In Between Days (2006), for which she won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlinale and the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. The movie also screened at KVIFF in the Forum of Independents. Likewise, her next pictures Treeless Mountain (2008) and For Ellen (2012) competed at the Sundance festival and screened elsewhere, including Berlin’s Forum section.


Memento Films International
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Tel: +33 153 349 020
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E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: So Yong Kim
Screenplay: So Yong Kim
Dir. of Photography: Reed Morano Walker
Music: Johann Johansson
Editor: So Yong Kim, Bradley Rust Gray
Producer: Jen Gatien, Bradley Rust Gray, So Yong Kim
Production: DeerJen Films, Soandbrad
Cast: Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Shaylena Mandigo, Jena Malone
Contact: Memento Films International

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