“Columbus” is an independent film set in Columbus, Ind. and stars John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson. It focuses on Casey (Richardson), a young architecture enthusiast who is deciding whether to stay at home in Columbus with her recovering addict mother or leave to pursue her dreams. She meets Jin (Cho), a Koren immigrant who came to Columbus to be with his architect father who is in a Columbus hospital . “Columbus” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It is showing also in Columbus, where Cho, Richardson and director Kogonada attended the premier at YES Cinema. A question-and-answer session followed two of the showings, according to therepublic.com.
Senior pre-art therapy major Paige Stratton did not attend the premiere but saw the movie after it came out. Stratton said she enjoyed the movie and highly recommended.
“It portrayed Columbus in a very beautiful and artistic way,” she said. “The cinematography in it was really beautiful. And I loved the color scheme throughout all of the frames and things like that. It also portrays Columbus in a way that normal people don’t see it.”
While Stratton is not from Columbus, her mother works there, and Stratton has been to Columbus many times to visit her mother, go out with friends and volunteer. She said that seeing a film that showcases a place that she has visited is always exciting but “Columbus” was more personal.
“This place, where you’re filming it is only an hour away from me. My mom works in that area, and it was just like ‘Oh, I’ve been there. I’ve been there.’ That was a really cool aspect,” Stratton said. “…It just makes me feel special. And I think that the Midwest is often overlooked, you know? You think of movies being shot in New York or California or warm tropical places and stuff like that, but Indiana is not the first thought. And I know other filmmakers that are branching out to different locations like Indiana and it makes me feel special as a resident.”
Senior athletic training major Mallory Myers said that almost her entire family is from Columbus and she grew up living there. Myers thinks that having a movie set and filmed in her home town is great.
To me it’s a small town but then when you look outside of it, it’s actually a pretty big town to people. But it has that small town feel,” Myers said. “And it has a lot of unique characteristics about it. I’ve grown up with it so I don’t know any different. All the architecture and all of that is just not normal for more people’s hometowns.”
Freshman finance major Wade Forman is also from Columbus. He said seeing people so interested in the architecture of Columbus is awesome.
“You just take it for granted,” Forman said. “But to think about all of the people that have come there and done stuff…that’s pretty amazing to think of, with a town of like 40,000 people, that all these people have come here. It’s not something that is normal for a town like that, and it’s pretty special.”
Forman said he hopes “Columbus” showcases the North Christian Church, the First Christian Church and the bridge into the west end of town. While Myers would like see Irwin Gardens in the film, as she has fond memories of playing there as a child. According to Stratton, the movie focused a lot on the sculptures downtown, the library and one of the first modern banks.
While Stratton wished “Columbus” had focused more Columbus oriented and focused on the community, Myers, who hasn’t seen the movie, is looking forward to seeing how the city she grew up in is portrayed.
“[I want to see] what they thought was important,” she said, “and what they think stands out in Columbus, because that’s obviously going to be different than what somebody else would think. From the clips [that I’ve seen], it’s not what I would have thought they would display.”
Stratton, Foreman and Myers said that they thought it was great to have a movie set in Columbus. They also said they have often overlooked some of the aspects of Columbus, such as it’s architecture, or taken for granted the city that they know so well.
“There was quote in the movie that I think really relates to what I’ve been saying,” Myers said. “It was something the main character of the movie [said]… ‘When you’re surrounded by something your whole life you don’t really see how special it is.’ And I think that’s what this movie really did, and I think that was a really good theme it showed. I’ve been to Columbus, and I’ve kind of been raised in the area. I’ve been raised in Indianapolis my whole life. And when you see it [Columbus] in a movie, you definitely cherish where you live. And you see how special it is, if it’s shot in a different way or a different perspective.”