Archive of films Columbus / Columbus

2017, 104 min

Section: Variety Critics’ Choice
Year: 2017

In this unconventional, hypnotically paced American drama, set amid the modernist structures of Columbus, Indiana, critic-turned-director Kogonada is less interested in romance than in the characters’ overlapping and divergent worldviews and dreams, based on culture, environment and upbringing.


There’s an old saying, often attributed to Martin Mull, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” In many ways first-time writer-director Kogonada’s Columbus treats architecture like music, as its protagonists write, talk, bicker and dance about an extraordinary collection of modernist structures in the unassuming Midwest town of Columbus, Indiana. The hypnotically paced drama carried by the serendipitous odd-couple pairing of John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson is lovely and tender, marking Kogonada as an auteur to watch. The relationships between each of the characters are imbued with warmth and humanity, and the filmmaking — like the city’s structures designed by the likes of Eero Saarinen and I.M. Pei — is simply gorgeous. In this unconventional American film, Kogonada is less interested in romance than in the characters’ overlapping and divergent worldviews and dreams, based on culture, environment, and upbringing.

Geoff Berkshire

About the director

Kogonada, Korean-American director, screenwriter, and editor, was born in Seoul but grew up in the American Midwest. He is known as a film theorist and critic, the author of a number of video essays about seminal world filmmakers and film movements of the classic era and today (e.g. neorealism, Fellini, Bergman, Hitchcock, Linklater) commissioned by the Criterion Collection and Sight & Sound. In his feature debut Columbus he takes up the topic of architecture, using it to ponder the crisis of the West.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Variety Critics’ Choice
Director: Kogonada
Screenplay: Kogonada
Dir. of Photography: Elisha Christian
Music: Hammock
Editor: Kogonada
Art Director: Diana Rice
Producer: Andrew Miano, Aaron Boyd, Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Chris Weitz, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim
Production: Superlative Films, Depth of Field
Coproduction: Nonetheless Productions
Cast: John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin, Michelle Forbes
Sales: Visit Films

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