The debut feature film of American-Korean director kogonada offers a rare treat for Finnish audiences: it takes place in surroundings designed by Eliel Saarinen´s American architect son Eero Saarinen (and James Stewart Polshek and Deborah Berke), in mid-western Columbia, Indiana. The setting is almost a third lead actor in this classy indie film of kogonada.
Columbus studies the relations of people, their consciousness and their surroundings in an intelligent way that gives a deserved place of honour to Saarinen´s buildings that once were considered so controversial. The intelligent 19-year old Casey (charming Haley Lu Richardson) gets a chance to study architecture in her hometown, but decides to take care of her worker mother instead. The son of comatose professor of architecture Jin (Jin Cho of Star Trek) has in turn returned from Soul to his father and gets to know Casey. This coming-of-age story combines the spirit of Yasujiro Ozu´s film classics and modernist architecture. A true feast for the eyes! (TM)
Known for his video essays that he made for Sight & Sound magazine (From Bresson to Linklater, check also “kogonada on Vimeo”), kogonada took his stage name from Yasujiro Ozu´s writing partner Kôgo Noda. His path to becoming a feature film director is notable: mainstream Hollywood producer Chris Weitz (whose grandfather was Ingmar Bergman´s American agent) is a cinephile who fell in love with kogonada´s video on Ozu while refilming Hirokazu Kore-eda´s Like father, Like Son and decided to advance the project as one of the producers.