The Cinephile – An animated animated love letter to filmmaking – The Irish Times


Pompo: the cinephile

Director: Takayuki Hirao

Certificate: 12A

Gender: Animation

Featuring: Hiroya Shimizu, Konomi Kohara, Ai Kakuma, Akio Otsuka

Operating time: 1h30

He’s a wonderful, magical character who, in this adaptation of the popular manga, takes precedence over the male author she snatched from obscurity.

Pompo has carved out a successful career producing B-grade movies that make money and feature — as an early film shoot indicates — bikinis and octopuses. “As long as the lead actress looks attractive, it’s a good movie,” insists Pompo. His second maxim – “anything longer than 90 minutes is disrespectful of the public’s time” – is a Pompo: The Cinephile adheres happily.

When new assistant Gene Fini reads about a high-profile project written (overnight) by Pompo and decides it’s a staggering work of genius, Pompo happily hires him to direct the film. She soon counter-interprets Natalie, a poignantly simple wannabe who just got off the bus in Nyallywood, and the reclusive “world’s greatest actor”, Martin Braddock.

Along the way, there are financial crises, upturns, and an unforeseen mud fight. Most of the time, the production is hampered by Gene’s creative crises and perfectionist tendencies. If only the introspective filmmaker had a little more showmanship of a young Quentin Tarantino or Eli Roth. The script’s insistence on the absolute primacy of the director – and the consequent sidelining of the far more memorable main character – can be as repetitive as it is ridiculous. Why exactly is tortured artist Gene editing his own movie?

Still, it’s hard not to be tickled by Meister, the visually dazzling and unapologetic movie-within-a-movie, in which an aging, jaded conductor is re-energized by his friendship with a farm girl in the Alps. Swiss. (Imagine what an AI might spit out after grabbing a string of Bridges of Madison County-era Oscar winners.)

The brilliant and animated Pompo is the second feature to be released from Clap Animation Studio. This bodes well for the upcoming adaptation of the same imprint of Mei Hachimoku’s The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes.


Comments are closed.