Kogonada’s poetic observational drama ponders the weight of familial responsibilities, finding light in the restorative salve of architecture and altruism to luminous effect.
Singapore PremiereUSA / 2017 / 104MIN / English
In Columbus, Indiana, Casey plays tour guide to the great modernist monuments of Eliel and Eero Saarinen and I.M. Pei, her architectural ambitions wasting away in the shadow of her meth addict mother’s needs. She meets a visitor Jin, whose architect father lies comatose after a collapse.
Columbus is beautifully minimalist – director Kogonada and cinematographer Elisha Christian working in harmony with geometric modernist icons of glass and steel to evoke a breathtaking daydream of wistful yearning. A quietly captivating performance from Haley Lu Richardson is buoyed by leading man John Cho’s confidently generous portrayal of Jin. In the vein of Yasujiro Ozu, Kogonada threads through their shared grief, reveling in the spaces real and imagined – the meditative grandeur of the built environment entwining with the weight of words left unspoken.
Cast & Credits
Seoul-born Kogonada is a proud immigrant raised in the Midwest. His visual work and film criticisms commissioned by the Criterion Collection and Sight & Sound has won sweeping praises, and his projects have been featured on NPR, The Atlantic, Canal+ and Der Spiegel. Columbus is his directorial feature debut, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Chris Weitz, Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Ki Jin Kim
John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey
• Special Jury Prize, Independent Film Festival of Boston 2017
• International Federation of Film Critics Award, Jameson CineFest – Miskolc International Film Festival 2017
• Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2017