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Macon Film Guild Presents: "Columbus"

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"Columbus" (USA, comedy-drama-romance, 100 minutes, unrated) John Cho plays a young man stuck in Columbus, Indiana, while his architect father is in a coma. As it happens, Columbus is an unlikely site for buildings of architectural significance. The city serves as the backdrop for a quiet, friendship-and-almost-maybe romance between Cho and a talented young woman (Haley Lu Richardson), who may be burying herself alive in her hometown. “The existence of a debut as confident and allusive as ‘Columbus’ is almost as improbable as the existence of Columbus, Ind., where the movie is set. Against this backdrop, [director] Kogonada, a video essayist who has made artful film-analysis shorts for the Criterion Collection and Sight & Sound magazine, has shot a modest two-hander, using the architecture as a springboard for larger questions… Jin (John Cho), an English-to-Korean book translator in Seoul, travels to Columbus after his father, an architecture historian, collapses while in town for a talk. As Jin waits to find out whether his semi-estranged father will ever regain consciousness, he strikes up a friendship with Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a tour guide and lifelong Columbus resident. A year out of high school, she is tempted to leave to study architecture, but she fears for the well-being of her unpredictable blue-collar mother (Michelle Forbes), for whom she cooks and essentially looks after. Over several days, as Casey and Jin wander the sites, they debate such heady ideas as the healing power of buildings, modernism’s relationship to religion, and why — or whether — architecture means something to them… he acknowledged influence of the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu looms over the proceedings. Kogonada draws not only on Ozu’s frequent theme of generational conflict but also on his shooting style… The movie leaves quite a bit to the eye of the beholder, but it’s always worth looking at.”-- New York Times