The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival


From Oscilloscope Laboratories and video-essayist-turned-writer/director Kogonada comes Columbus, a beautifully meditative story of two intersecting lives and the architecture surrounding them.

Jin Lee (John Cho), a translator working in Korea, has flown to Columbus, Indiana to look after his father, an architecture scholar, who has suddenly taken ill. Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) works at a library in town, who strives to leave it behind in order to pursue a future in architecture, but only if it meant not abandoning her mother, a recovering drug addict. Through happenstance, Jin and Casey encounter each other and as they stroll through conversations amongst the asymmetry of the buildings around them, each other may be just what they need to move onto a clearer future.

Carefully and tenderly observed, Kogonada crafts elegant compositions of liminal and disjointed space, and explores them through characters brought to life by powerfully understated performances from his two leads. Since its premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Columbus has enraptured audiences with its ability to conjure the kind of immeasurably tangible atmospheres that only the best films can.


“Visually arresting and replete with contemplative moments, Columbus spotlights the eponymous Indiana town… Exquisitely rendered by cinematographer Elisha Christian, the otherwise quotidian structures of banks, libraries, and hospitals all become seen.” — Mimi Wong, Hyperallergic

“One of the most auspicious directorial debuts of the last decade.” — Nathanael Hood, Unseen Films

“Cho is dependably good but it’s Haley Lu Richardson who steals the show with a sublime performance.” — Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia