The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Obayashi’s Labyrinth of Cinema

Get ready for a head trip with Labyrinth of Cinema, an avant-garde anti-war film from House director Nobuhiko Obayashi.

The story centers on a group of young people who travel back in time when they are in a movie theater just before closing time. They witness deaths during the closing days of Japan’s feudal times and on the battlefront in China before they are sent to Hiroshima just before the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city.

The last film to be made by Obayashi before his death in 2020, Labyrinth of Cinema is an appropriately surreal note for the Japanese filmmaker to end his colorful career on.


“Obayashi Nobuhiko’s three-hour swansong is a pop-art paean to pacifism and unity in the form of an exploration of Japanese film history and, in particular, its many depictions of armed conflict.” — Tony Rayns, Sight and Sound

“This culmination of a career is jam-packed with pointed political statements even if it’s absurd and whimsical – war is utter madness, after all. — Katie Duggan, Film Daze

“Labyrinth of Cinema is a true epic, which uses its three-hour runtime as a fully immersive playground of cinematic experiments.” — Soham Gadre, Film Inquiry