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Labyrinth of Cinema(海辺の映画館-キネマの玉手箱)

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Japan · 2019
2h 59m
Director Nobuhiko Obayashi
Starring Takuro Atsuki, Takahito Hosoyamada, Yoshihiko Hosoda, Rei Yoshida
Genre Drama, Fantasy, History, Romance, War

Three young men are in the only movie theater in Onomichi on the last night before its permanent closure. They are watching an all-night marathon of Japanese war films when the theater suddenly gets struck by lightning, and the men find themselves having traveled back in time, to Hiroshima the night before the atomic bomb.

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The Film Stage by Glenn Heath Jr.

This mammoth final effort by Ôbayashi, an artist who so often destroyed the conventional boundaries of cinematic space in works like 1977’s Hausu, is a completely humbling viewing experience.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Labyrinth of Cinema is indeed labyrinthine, a maze of jokes, film references, quirky back projections, bargain-basement effects and melodramatic confrontations. But at its centre is something deeply serious: a belief that, as the sole country to have experienced a nuclear strike, Japan has a terrifying exceptionalism. This awful truth is marked by a tonal cymbal-clash, both acidly comic and desperately sad.


Variety by Richard Kuipers

Opening with a riotous bombardment of sound and image that risks confusing and losing some viewers even as it sends others into rapturous delight, Labyrinth of Cinema then makes sense of the chaos and emerges as a touching plea for peace and an exuberant celebration of the artifice and transformative power of cinema.

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