COLUMBUS, Ind. — The movie that helped launch a whole new audience — and generous extra national publicity — for the city’s celebrated Modernist architecture returns to YES Cinema, 328 Jackson St. downtown on Friday.
“Columbus,” director kogonada’s feature film debut with the local architecture as a main character of sorts, is marking its fifth anniversary since its sold-out premiere here Sept. 1, 2017. The artsy director and his stars, John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson, who have since gone on to bigger stardom, made red-carpet appearances and answered audience members queries during a question-and-answer session that night.
Afterward, Richardson, unaware that locals quickly had grown to love her and Cho’s down-to-earth ways off the set during the August 2016 filming, acknowledged that she was positively terrified that the local audience would hate her role as Casey, an architecture nerd caring for her addicted and ailing mother.
Cho played a book editor stuck in Columbus when his architecture professor Dad collapses before a speaking engagement and is being treated while seriously ill at the local hospital.
The flick which earned praise from critics ranging from The New York Times to The Hollywood Reporter (“an art-house treat”), eventually sold 8,953 tickets in a six-week run at YES, making it by far the most popular movie ever shown at the venue in its 28-year history. This marks its second local return, since YES celebrated the one-year anniversary with a series of showings with 15 minutes of deleted scenes.
The film earned a 97 percent fresh rating from critics on the popular rottentomatoes.com film site.
“I think the popularity (at YES) is because the star of the movie is Columbus itself,” said Randy Allman, executive director of nonprofit Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center, which operates the cinema and conference center. “Now, of course, I understand that there are people here who love action movies, and this isn’t quite their genre.”
For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.