All about COLUMBUS, the acclaimed movie

By writer and director Kogonada

Starring John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson
Featuring Parker Posey and Michelle Forbes and Rory Culkin

John Cho discussing scene on courthouse square, Columbus - photo by Mike Wolanin, The Republic

Photo by Mike Wolanin, The Republic Newspaper

John Cho, on set in Columbus, Indiana

John Cho preparing to shoot a scene at the Courthouse Square in Columbus
Photo by Mike Wolanin, The Republic newspaper

I grew up in the Midwest. I had passed Exit 68 off I-65 many times in my life, but I had no idea what was just off the ramp. Not too long ago, I ventured off and discovered a town in the middle of cornfields enchanted by modern architecture. I was moved and haunted and felt compelled to make a movie about this place. That movie is COLUMBUS. – Kogonada, writer/director

(Columbus, Indiana) is block after block of just fascinating buildings … It is a kind of wondrous place. It is a bit of an emerald city – John Cho, speaking at Sundance

Sometimes special moments in your life intersect with a special place. And this was that place for me. We weren’t here very long. But it left a very deep groove on my heart. – John Cho, speaking at the five-year reunion in Columbus, Indiana.

movie trailer link

Movie trailer for COLUMBUS (2:05)

movie review link

Los Angeles Times review (1:47)

John Cho on Late NIght

John Cho talks about the movie (4:21)

REVIEWS AND ARTICLES about the Columbus movie

“You may never have seen a movie as obsessed with architecture as the quiet and unassuming Columbus, in which John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson build a bond that exists both literally and figuratively in the shadows of the great modern buildings of Columbus, Indiana.”

“Not a movie that makes much noise, but the one that most got under my skin. Set in an Indiana town blessed with an unusual amount of innovative architecture, Columbus is about people, their relationships and the way their souls are fed by the buildings around them. With terrific performances by Parker Posey, John Cho, and face-to-watch Haley Lu Richardson, it is a film that is not just for the heart and mind, but about the heart and mind.”

“As a movie about intimacy, Columbus is a masterpiece. The architecture of Columbus, Indiana, and the architecture of this film achieve a harmony rare in contemporary cinema.”

location guide

Guide to the movie locations

Stop by the Visitors Center at 506 Fifth Street to pick up a free guide to the sites where the scenes of COLUMBUS were shot.

 john cho interview on NPR

John Cho interview on NPR

Discussion about COLUMBUS begins at 12:40…
“One of the privileges of shooting the movie was to be in these beautiful spaces…it’s not so much about how it looks as much as it is how it makes you feel when you’re standing in those spaces.” – John Cho

review of Columbus movie

The New Yorker review

“COLUMBUS gets its title from the city where it’s set—Columbus, Indiana, home to a remarkable collection of renowned works of modern architecture, including several designed by Eero Saarinen. (It’s an apt subject for Kogonada, a visual artist who’s also justly acclaimed for his video essays.)

more press

“And now for something completely different, a pleasantly eccentric film that’s the feature debut of visual artist Kogonada. Set in ‘the Athens of the Prairie,’ Columbus, Ind., the unlikely site of a trove of modern architecture, its impeccably composed shots of stunning buildings are as much of a lure as its deliberately paced story.”

“Those who appreciate ‘Columbus’ will likely take it to heart. 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.”

“Kogonada’s work never feels overly stylized. He is merely finding the best angles on his backdrops, like a painter finding the best size canvas for what he wants to convey. It reminds one how few filmmakers even consider the canvas… Columbus is a remarkable film.”

“Imagine an American-indie remake of an Apichatpong Weerasethakul film, and you’ll get part of the way to picturing what filmmaker Kogonada has accomplished with his feature debut . . . that description might make Columbus sound ponderous, but this light drama has a soft center as Jin and Casey try to figure out themselves.” —Tim Grierson

  • From The 20 Best Films of Sundance 2017 – see the original at Paste magazine

Set entirely in the overcast city of Columbus, Indiana, a small town that’s renowned as an unexpected mecca of modernist architecture, “Columbus” unfolds like a remake of “Garden State” as directed by Yasujirō Ozu…the film reflects what we have through the lens of what we’ve lost. We’re all surrounded by wonder, but few of us have the power to see it for ourselves.

  • from The 25 Best Movie Moments of 2017, According to IndieWire Critic David Ehrlich

“Watching the film myself, my sense of space changes: a dreamlike calm washes over me as the stillness of this small town stops the movement of New York City, if only for a few hours…I revisit this film often. For me, it serves as a gentle reminder of how to slow down and take time to look closely at your surroundings…”

quote from COLUMBUS
Kogonada in downtown Columbu

Kogonada and crew at Inn at Irwin Gardens. Photo by Tony Vasquez

Eames chair at 301 Washington, Columbus, Indiana

John and Haley Lu on Charles Eames chair at 301 Washington offices. Photo by Tony Vasquez

RELATED LINKS

haley lu richardson video interview

Haley Lu’s selfie interview

MORE FROM THE PRESS

“(Columbus, Indiana) is block after block of just fascinating buildings … It is a kind of wondrous place. It is a bit of an emerald city.”

  • “Columbus” star John Cho, speaking at Sundance

“Columbus” is one of the rare films in which nerdy intelligence—knowledge without experience—comes off without neurosis, comedic awkwardness, or vengeance.

Set entirely in the overcast city of Columbus, Indiana, a small town that’s renowned as an unexpected mecca of modernist architecture, “Columbus” unfolds like a remake of “Garden State” as directed by Yasujirō Ozu…the film reflects what we have through the lens of what we’ve lost. We’re all surrounded by wonder, but few of us have the power to see it for ourselves.

  • from The 25 Best Movie Moments of 2017, According to IndieWire Critic David Ehrlich
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