2019 / drama history romance sci-fi war / 2h 59min /
written by: Kazuya Konaka, Tadashi Naitô, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi / directed by: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi /
country: Japan / language: Japanese with English subtitles /
“Setouchi Kinema, the only movie theater on the Onomichi seafront, is about to close its doors. Its last night of existence will be an all-night marathon screening of Japanese war films. When lightning strikes the theater, three young men in the audience find themselves thrown back in time into the world inside the screen. The trio are thrust into the Boshin War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Battle of Okinawa and then finally Hiroshima on the eve of the atomic bombing. There, they meet the traveling theater troupe “Sakura-tai”. But can they alter the course of destiny to save the troupe?
Filming in his hometown of Onomichi for the first time in 20 years, director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi’s final film invites us into an intoxicating and fresh cinematic world. Against a backdrop that traces the history of Japan’s wars, Labyrinth of Cinema shapeshifts between styles and genres, drawing influences from silent films, talkies, action flicks, musicals, and more – and creates something triumphantly new and unique in the process. Obayashi, with a boundless optimism, showcases the raw energy within the medium, and the power of cinema to enact real change.
The main cast features Takuro Atsuki, Takato Hosoyamada, and Yoshihiko Hosoda as three youths transported through time into the world inside the silver screen and fated to cross paths with three heroines portrayed by newcomer Rei Yoshida, Obayashi film debutante Riko Narumi and Hirona Yamazaki, who appeared in the director’s previous work Hanagatami.”