Columbus

Shot in Columbus, Indiana. Viewed on Columbus Day.  And I had no idea.

Columbus is a very good film.  You’ll no doubt find the story slow.  And perhaps less entertaining than you’d hope.
But you gotta go see.
Great acting. Great ethos. Great shots. Great architecture and interior design.  Drawing on extraordinary hallmarks of other great directors.
(r:9.5.; s:4, e:4, t:7 (out of 5).)
So much so, I’ve broken my already broken rating system, but in a new way. 7 out of 5 for the technical aspects.

The core of the story is a high school (check) graduate who is mature beyond her years because of her love for her mother and the support she’s given to help the mother through a drug-addiction.  She loves cooking for her mum, her home city and loves its specialist architecture.  She’s bright but is choosing to stay home to help her Mum rather than break out.  Catalyst for the breaking out from this life is the son of an architect,  who’s come to the city cos his father has fallen seriously hill.  And they develop a bond cos they can talk with each other beyond her joy in telling stories of the local buildings. And with all the potential for “drama”, not one argument, not one strop.  Such an antidote to soap operas and many films.

Now, I didn’t know about Columbus, Indiana (population 44,000).  That it’s home to many exemplary modernist buildings cos of the vision of a wealthy couple and the husband who managed a successful local engine manufacturing company.
So beautiful buildings were commissioned, from the fifties on.
Now, the controversy – cos The Guardian in reviewing the film describes the beautiful buildings as brutalist.  With my limited knowledge of architecture drawn from membership of the planning committee, I don’t think they are brutal.  Not least cos of the massive space often available to these buildings – something Nottingham doesn’t have room for; nor does modern British capitalism (e.g. Station Street).
Yet the weaknesses of the buildings restarting to come through, even in the film; the weathering showing the buildings often don’t know how to manage the rain.
So architects and planners should also go see this film, if only to take in the success and the failings.

 

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