Labyrinth of Cinema (Dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi, 2019)
Date: October 29 - November 4, 2021
Time: 4:15pm and 8:00pm daily
Location: Lumiere Music Hall
Address: 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Exclusive Los Angeles theatrical engagement!
The final film by Nobuhiko Obayashi finds the late director returning to the subject of Japan’s history of warfare following the completion of his “War Trilogy,” which ended with Hanagatami. On the last night of its existence, a small movie theater in Onomichi—the seaside town of Obayashi’s youth where he shot nearly a dozen films—screens an all-night marathon of Japanese war films. When lightning strikes the theater, three young men are transported into the world onscreen where they experience the violent battles of several wars leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima.
A breathless cinematic journey through Japan’s past, Labyrinth of Cinema finds Obayashi using every trick in his book to create an awe-inspiring, visually resplendent anti-war epic that urges us to consider cinema as a means to change history. The culmination of an exceptional 60-year career worth celebrating. Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Nobuhiko Obayashi was a director, screenwriter and editor of films and television advertisements. He began his filmmaking career as a pioneer of Japanese experimental films before transitioning to directing more mainstream media, and his resulting filmography as a director spanned almost 60 years. He was notable for his distinct surreal filmmaking style, as well as the anti-war themes commonly embedded in his films. He died on 10 April 2020 at the age of 82, from lung cancer in Tokyo.
Nobuhiko Obayashi's opus...exuberantly shot...imaginatively edited.
Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
A fitting capstone to Obayashi’s filmography, a riotous tour through various manifestations of Japanese war cinema as seen by four teenagers.
Ryan Swen, Hyperallergic
Shot and edited by Obayashi while he was receiving cancer treatment, [Labyrinth] has his characteristic blend of surreal whimsy and heartfelt emotion.
Mark Schilling, Variety
Forget a swan song: Nobuhiko Obayashi’s final film is a shriek, a tirade, a lecture and a rollicking action-adventure stuffed into a three-hour pop-art package.
Devika Girish, The New York Times
Labyrinth of Cinema has the densest diegesis of any movie made this century... Obayashi’s newest work treats the continued life of the moving image as an urgent moral question.
Evan Morgan, MUBI Notebook