Let's not mince words: Ōbayashi Nobuhiko is world cinema's last living unicorn. A 1960s avant-garde master and alternative AV-art activist with a wild & wacky surrealist style who in the late 1970s started to make successful, entertaining fiction features best described as experimental pop (such as cult classic House, 1977). Key to his world is his hometown, the port city of Onimichi, near Hiroshima, where about a dozen of his films are set.
Labyrinth of Cinema marks the master's latest return to Onimichi, where a cinema turns into something like a time machine transporting a bunch of youngsters to several crucial moments in Japanese history. They witness violent death, again and again, with the Atomic Bomb as the acme of man-made terror. Presented in a madly colourful sound-and-image hurricane of outrageous visual inventiveness, all in praise of hope against all odds and in defiance of facile despair.