Columbus (12A*)

Architecture on Film

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In video essayist and film critic Kogonada’s debut feature, local girl Casey – an ‘architecture nerd’ – meets visitor Jin in the Midwestern ‘Mecca of Modernism’, Columbus.

As Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) and Jin (John Cho) take in buildings by Eero Saarinen, I. M. Pei, Robert A.M. Stern and Deborah Berke, Kogonada’s meticulous compositional eye – refined through previous visual essays on Yasujirō Ozu’s passages or Stanley Kubrik’s use of perspective – creates a film of formal equivalence to the stately mid-century masterworks it engages as its backdrop and co-protagonists. In so doing, the film’s cinematography, characters and remarkable architectural setting enter into an intimate dialogue, finding conflicts between roots and ambition, dreams and responsibilities, mirrored in both the film’s protagonists and Columbus’ living museum of 20th century Modern architecture.

A film of psychological and aesthetic sensitivity, full of visual and metaphorical symmetries, remarkable design and delicate storytelling, which negotiates the meeting of form and feeling.

Kogonada joins us via Skype for a post-film discussion led by Catherine Ince (Chief Curator, V&A East)

US 2017 Dir Kogonada 100 min

Curated by The Architecture Foundation in partnership with the Barbican

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a black and white picture of the barbican towers in central london

Watch: Architecture

Discover more about the history of our Grade II listed building plus debates and discussion about architecture – with slight favouritism towards Brutalism…

Barbican Cinema 1