Posts Tagged ‘Kogonada’

“COLUMBUS” My rating: B 

100 minutes | No MPAA rating

“Columbus” is an art film with all the good and not-so-good that suggests.

This audacious feature debut from Kogonada (the one-named video director who creates special DVD features for many of the Criterion Collection classic film releases) is a visually brilliant experience that sometimes feels as if it’s in no hurry to go anywhere.

It’s been very well acted, but keeps its emotions under wraps.

Set in Columbus, IN, this hard-to-classify effort (not quite drama, certainly not a comedy) centers on Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a recent high school graduate, a volunteer at the local library and an architecture geek.

She’s in the right town, since Columbus is a virtual showcase of buildings by modernist masters like I.M. Pei, Robert A.M. Stern, Eero Saarinen and Richard Meier. Casey knows these structures inside out; she’s even figured out how to sneak into some of them at night so that she can enjoy her own private reveries.

To the extent that “Columbus” has a plot it involves the arrival of Jin (John Cho), who has traveled from Korea to the States because of a developing family tragedy.

Jin’s father, a famous architectural historian, has suffered a stroke on the eve of a lecture at the local university. Now he’s in a coma and Jin, being the dutiful Korean son, is expected to sit at his bedside until the old man either recovers or succumbs.

Except that Jin and his father have long been estranged. Instead of hanging around the hospital, Jin looks for diversion, and he finds it in Casey, from whom he bums a cigarette and with whom he tours the local architectural hot spots.


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