This film is part of Rentals

Columbus 12 rating

A young librarian with a thing for Modernist architecture expands her horizons when a Korean lawyer (John Cho) comes to town, in this impeccable debut from acclaimed video artist kogonada.

Drama 2016 104 mins

Director: kogonada


After his lecturer father is taken ill, Jin (John Cho) heads to Columbus, Indiana, the modernist architecture capital of America. Jin encounters Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a librarian. She’s a smart cookie brimming with ideas and potential in a town too small to contain them, but stymied by a co-dependent relationship with her mother. Their blossoming friendship is the foundation of this intelligent drama that considers the limits of what we owe to our families.

Those familiar with director kogonada’s video essay work on Ozu will not be surprised by his formal and thematic affinity with that master – every corridor is meticulously framed. Another influence is Hal Hartley, particularly in the hyper-articulate, off-kilter dialogue. Ultimately, the film offers a perspective entirely its own, making the case for the emotional power of architecture. This is stylish, intellectually ambitious cinema, with the added thrill of seeing Parker Posey speaking Korean.