One of the things I love most about working in journalism is that I get to talk to a lot of interesting people. One of the things that's a drag about journalism is that the conversations I have with those interesting people tend to be reduced to a quote or three bundled into a story, with the rest of the interview — all the engaging, cool stuff that could never fit into the story — consigned to the musty corners of the archives never to be read by anyone.
Here's a good example: On July 25, 2017, I interviewed the video essayist Kogonada about his first feature, Columbus, for a feature that was published by Architectural Record. (Disclaimer: You might need to log in to see it, but registration is free and easy so.) The movie, an indie about a young, architecture-obsessed woman crossing paths with the son of a prominent architect in the Modernist mecca of Columbus, Indiana, is great. Read the story to find out why! But one thing I was quite taken by was the craftsmanship. The soundscape and editing, especially, are elegant and engaging, creating a mediative space to consider architecture and the way it works on people, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. (None of this should be surprising to anyone who has seen Kogonada's essays. And if you haven't, go to his site and watch them. They're wonderful.)
When I left the screening at IFC Center, I was anxious to talk with Kogonada about the film and his relationship with architecture and Modernism — that was to be the point of the piece, more or less (though it morphed a bit) — but also the thought and intention behind those things that so caught my attention. Later, as I did some research, I added Ozu and Antonioni to my conversational to-do list. And, selfishly, I wanted to share how the film had resonated with me. I hadn't stopped thinking about it for days.
I was lucky to have the opportunity to get into all that, and a bit more, during a 20-minute conversation with Kogonada. (It could easily have gone an hour and I think we could have been left with stuff to unpack, about the film and his inspirations.) And only a fraction of what we discussed is reflected in the published story. So I thought I would share it here, where I hope a few people will read it and take away a bit of what I did from it.
Either way, I'm going to use this blog space to publish a selection of these transcripts, lightly edited, so that these moments are allowed to live and breathe and not wither away on a hard drive somewhere. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did taking part in them.Read More