In the academic film world, Kogonada is a star. Though COLUMBUS is his directorial feature film debut, his collection of video essays analyzing the films of Bresson, Ozu and, Bergman to name a few have served as the foundation for the field of videographic film criticism.
In an interview with Slant Magazine, he shares how crafting film analyses trained him for filmmaking: “In many ways I was workshopping and playing with form itself. It was happening in a public space where I was kind of engaging cinematic forms that interest me and reworking them in ways that I found interesting and compelling, and so, certainly, it was part of this larger conversation I was having in my head about cinema and always with a desire to maybe one day make a film. That’s a big dream, you know, to say, ‘I’m gonna make a film,’ so I didn’t necessarily think that that was possible, but it was there.
I was studying Ozu and I really felt that he was pursuing a kind of cinema that was really addressing what it means to be modern and offering a sense of time and space that could connect in a way to modern beings […] It addressed my own existential floundering and made me want to make cinema that continued that conversation. He passed away, and I think there was more to be explored. So, in regard to feeling like cinema is a part of a conversation, that for me is what I feel so honored by: to be able to assert myself a little bit into that ongoing conversation.”