Funeral Parade of Roses

Japan 1969. Dir: Toshio Matsumoto. 105 min. DCP

“Extraordinary ... One of the most formally advanced films of the psychedelic decade.”
TONY RAYNS, TIME OUT

Funeral Parade of Roses is the child of a rich moment in history where all of the art forms commingled in an incredibly free playing field.”
JIM O'ROURKE

NEW RESTORATION! | A delirious, taboo-obliterating masterpiece of queer cinema and the Japanese New Wave, the first feature-length film from Japanese avant-gardist Toshio Matsumoto (who died in April) was cited by fan Stanley Kubrick as a direct influence on his dystopian masterwork A Clockwork Orange! Lavishly praised but long unavailable in North America, it has been re-released in a stunning 4K restoration. Matsumoto’s exhilarating film, a loose adaptation of Oedipus Rex unapologetically set in Tokyo’s gay and drag-queen subculture, centres on Eddie (transgender actor Peter, of Kurosawa’s Ran), a cute, trans club hostess who’s bedding the boss (Yoshio Tsuchiya, also a Kurosawa player) while dethroning the club’s reigning queen. Matsumoto brings an arsenal of cinematic techniques to the table, and brazenly uses them all: Brechtian interruptions, cinéma vérité asides, pop-art aesthetics, disjunctive editing. The result is a frenetic, fantastic psychedelia of ’60s film modernism. See it with A Clockwork Orange on July 10 & 13.

 

REVIEWS

"An extraordinary film for its energies, its libidinous intensity, and its fearlessness in mixing registers ... Where and when, you wonder, will cinema ever get quite this wild again?"

Film Comment | full review

"Toshio Matsumoto's masterwork ... 50 years later, this transgressive Japanese drama is still a party and a procession."

IndieWire | full review