Umibe no Eigakan – Kinema no Tamatebako
2019 / 179m - Japan
War, Fantasy
Labyrinth of Cinema poster


October 24, 2020


A more than respectable and appropriate swan song for Ôbayashi. A film about cinema, a film that feels like vintage Ôbayashi and ultimately may even be about Ôbayashi himself, though that's a tougher call to make for someone who has only seen about 20% of his entire oeuvre so far.

The story is all over the place, but that was to be expected. The gist of it is that a group of young people travels back into time while visiting a movie theater. They travel along some of the biggest battlefields in Japanese history, (of course) ending up at Hiroshima. Meanwhile, Ôbayashi gives a couple lessons in film history.

Labyrinth of Cinema is way too long and not really of this time, but because this is Ôbayashi's final film and because his style is so iconic, it's exactly the kind of goodbye that befits his legacy. A mad but genius director who will be sorely missed, leaving the world of cinema the way he came in: with an uncompromising bang.