Home Entertainment Pompo: The Cinephile review – a cliched manga love letter to movie-making

Pompo: The Cinephile review – a cliched manga love letter to movie-making

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Both the glamour and the difficulties of film-making are coated in Takayuki Hirao’s film-loving animation characteristic. Tailored from a manga collection, the movie is ready within the fictional Nyallywood, a extra vibrant stand-in for the true Hollywood, full with sunshine, rows of palm bushes and a boulevard of stars. What makes this portrait of film studios extra surreal is Pompo herself. A studio govt within the physique of a petite baby prodigy – she saunters round in pigtails and a sailor gown – Pompo specialises in B films, the sort of flicks that may have a horny starlet terrorised by sharks.

All of this adjustments, nonetheless, when Pompo decides to take an opportunity on Gene, a first-time director, and an ingenue named Natalie Woodward – get the reference? – in a significantly minded mission about ageing, artwork and loss. Because the movie switches gears from an animated reimagination of Hollywood to an inspirational parable on the magic of cinema, the tone turns cloyingly saccharine, pushing hole maxims resembling how broken folks make higher artists, or {that a} movie ought to be now not than 90 minutes.

Whereas sometimes emphasising that film-making is a collaborative endeavour, it is a cliche-ridden affair, reiterating the parable of the genius director whose pursuit of perfection is well worth the detrimental results it has on the solid, the crew and even the film-maker himself. Repetitive scenes of Gene’s struggles to edit his movie are additionally woefully prosaic, a missed alternative in a medium that affords visible experimentation. Contemplating how animes resembling Satoshi Kon’s Millennium Actress have tackled the gilded cage of film-making with much more nuance and creativeness, the chicken-soup-for-the-soul method of Pompo the Cinephile seems like, effectively, backing out.

Pompo: The Cinephile is launched on 29 June in cinemas.

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