Labyrinth of Cinema


Directed by: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi
2019 / 179 minutes / Unclassified 15+ (under 15s must be accompanied by an adult)


An accelerated adventure through the history of war and cinema.

Labyrinth of Cinema sees esteemed auteur Nobuhiko Ōbayashi returning to his hometown, a port city named Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture, to shoot his final opus. One rainy day, the townspeople gather to enjoy a marathon screening of old war films at the town’s only cinema. With the rain cancelling any plans for outdoor activities, it seems as though the whole town is present to celebrate the cinema before it closes down for good. Lightning strikes and four young moviegoers find themselves on the other side of the silver screen. The protagonists traverse a smorgasbord of genres, while attempting to outrun enemies and witnessing transformative moments in Japanese history, such as the Boshin War, the second Sino-Japanese conflict and finally they find themselves in Hiroshima days prior to the atomic bombing. A love letter to cinema, Labyrinth of Cinema is a summation of the director’s iconically frenetic film style imbued with the ultimate message of peace he wished to impart on future generations.

Thursday 11th March

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney

Saturday 13th March

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney

Screens in: Sydney

Director: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi

Screenplay: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi

Cast: Takuro Atsuki, Takahito Hosoyamada, Yoshihiko Hosoda, Rei Yoshida, Riko Narumi, Hirona Yamazaki and Takako Tokiwa

Genre: Drama

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

This film is part of a special film series, Finding Serenity in Chaos: A Nobuhiko Ōbayashi Tribute,  that celebrates the late director Nobuhiko Ōbayashi (1938-2020), an endlessly innovative filmmaker, screenwriter and editor. A pillar of modern cinema and pioneer of Japanese experimental film, Ōbayashi’s illustrious six decade career spans feature films, short films and TV commercials. The program comprises the director’s final four films, which represent his life’s mission to inspire peace through his works.