Everyone has to start somewhere and although there might be quite a few great lists that introduce people to foreign…
Funeral Parade of Roses
In a Japanese version of "Oedipus Rex," a gay son murders his mother and sleeps with his father.
I cannot speak for every gender non-conforming person in the world; I can only speak for myself. Firstly, I use "gender non-conforming" simply because I don't know a better term for it. Secondly, every time I see a film like this, I am trapped between feeling like I've dodged a bullet, feeling like an imposter, feeling jealous, and feeling like there should be more in art and media than the dark side of trans-life.
The film is a complex mess of imagery, a menage of docudrama, Warholian observation, theatrical hyperbole, and Greek tragedy, all of which capture the drugs, prostitution, and dizzying nightlife of Japanese LGBT (mostly G & T) culture of the late sixties. Seeing the inherent violence, exclusion, and…
At this moment, I'm not sure how to cope with this as a piece of filmmaking, or how to describe its story. Instead, I'll be writing a personal review, sort of how this compliments my own life's narrative. Not used to doing this, so bear with me.
I suppose I would identify as bisexual or pansexual, but terms and labels are generally idiotic, and I prefer not to use them. I've known I'm not straight since sophomore year in high school, but only stopped suppressing these feelings and came out to people last year. In fact, this month it will be one year, I think. I am not out to family (was raised by devout Presbyterian parents), and not out…
With subliminal Warholian vignettes, fragments of cinematic hapax legomena (if such term could be applied to the film industry), assaulting psychosexual imagery, fragments of societal ridicule, jaw-dropping personifications, a fractured chronology, revolutionary techniques of film editing, a ghastly and hypnotic camera work and metafilm self-references, Bara no sôretsu is one of the most enthralling, unpredictable and thought-provoking avant-garde experiments that international celluloid has ever offered to mankind.
It starts with a statement:
"I am a wound and a sword, a victim and an executioner."
Then it proceeds with an alienating world beyond our comprehension. That is the first invitation you will ever receive to turn off your screen or leave the theater, because this nearly-metaphysical parade of memoir fragments and…
" I am the wound and the Blade,both the torturer and he who is flayed "
Long before metal music and fight clubs started gathering buzz a counter culture of another kind was blossoming underground...Toshio Matsumoto delves into loneliness,ostracization,identity crisis,hallucinogenic trips brimming with carefree abandon,Oedipal undertones..He directs the scenes with utmost brutal honesty...
Stanley Kubrick was surely inspired by the restless energy,music and imagery whilst scripting A Clockwork Orange .. i bet even Park Chan-Wook took notes while making Oldboy!!!
As for the climax i am still in a state of shock and astonishment;literally my jaws dropped when i saw it...MUST MUST MUST WATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I wish the whole country would sink under water." - Eddie
Watching Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses feels a bit like drowning. We are left to flail helplessly in a flood of scenes and images, tossed to and fro within the timeline of the film's underlying story. We sometimes find a brief respite in unexpected documentary-like inclusions that blur the line between fantasy and reality before being ultimately pulled under by the film's dark and jarring conclusion.
At the heart of the story are two transvestites: Leda, a bar madame, and Eddie, a young hostess. A refugee from a troubled and mysterious past, Eddie floats aimlessly through world of sex, drugs, and rock n roll while chumming it up…
Oedipus Rex laid the framework for the dramatic development of the story while the gay culture of the 60's provided the stage and era that is examined in this surreal and twisted genius of a film.
Toshio Matsumoto set out to do a film specifically on the gay subculture of Japan at the time, a culture that since then had solely existed in secrecy but now was bursting open at the seams with the changing of times. It was a new era not only in Japan but even in America with the Hippie generation, drug consumption and sexual experimentation. The times represented a new freedom and a new way of life. Matsumoto wanted to capture that way of life by…
This is a disturbingly beautifully made film interwoven with abnormal visuals and imagery and shot with an incredible disorientating style that works very well with the tone and features some cinematography that was way ahead of its time.
"The spirit of an individual reaches its own absolute through incessant negation."
Generally I give a movie time before I consider holding it up in such high regard but from one viewing alone I can already say that Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses might just as well be one of the greatest films that I have ever seen. Most famous for being one of the influences to Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece A Clockwork Orange, Funeral Parade of Roses is a film that is brilliant in its very own right. It is a film about identity, a film about how our souls are imprisoned on the inside when we hide them behind something (in this case, masks). The way Matsumoto shows…
June Scavenger: 3/30
8. A Japanese New Wave Film
This is one that I was truly intimidated by for many years. On two other occasions I have attempted to watch it and both were interrupted by technical difficulties. I took this as a of sign that I wasn't ready for it. A bad/sometimes good- habit of mine is choosing to wait to watch a film at the exact moment I'm "supposed" to. I'll put off watching a film that I know will profoundly effect me for years. It has to be just right. Similarly, I do the same with reviewing. It's often easier to circle around peripheral thoughts than just finalize a serious summary on a film of…
found it on youtube…remarkable what filmmakers dared in the 60’s. not just the subject matter, either, which is spoken of in terms we might speak of it today, 44 years later…but also the way the film tells a story while crafting a movie within. it’s something.
Funeral Parade of Roses is terrifying portrait about a country where people have been brought to bay so badly that they are stumbling on each other; they suffocate each other. At the same time it's a film about identity, a film about masks and jail of ourselves. It hits me more than strongly to see people who are trapped even though they might just smile and keep on going. Slowly the roses are dying because they don't have room and water. Matsumoto's handling of the subject is unforgettable as well: merciless yet balanced with comedic touch. We want to laugh with the characters but at the same time we somehow want to cry. It's like our masks are ready to…
It's tempting, as western viewers, to greedily pick apart and identify the western aspects of a film such as Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses; to point at the cinematic influences we stumble across, as increasingly privileged consumers of cinema, seems almost rude and reductive. But, we do it anyway. We can't help ourselves. Occasionally, it seems as though such nods and cues are laid down consciously, like a trail of breadcrumbs through a darkening forest; a message from one of our kind to another, like a stray radio plea in the depths of night. So, when we see the clinical, almost anatomical close-ups at the beginning here we cannot help but recall a similar introduction in Jean-Luc Godard's Une…
A film about cool eye makeup (Kubrick liked it so much he lifted it directly from the film and applied it to Alex DeLarge, amongst other things), and a group of queer, radical Japanese youth that somehow manage to inhabit the spirit of the swinging 60s' and hippiedom simultaneously. Set to the beat of erratic editing and structure (part-meta, part-documentary, part political commentary!?), it's enough to make make even France's most prolific nouvelle-vague auteurs clutch their pearls.
It's always a challenge to review movies like this, which do not come easy to the audience and completely subvert all notions we may have established about what a movie should be. Because this is more than a movie, it's another kind of experience, by itself. What to say about a movie that had a major influence on Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange?
I'm not at all an expert in Japanese New Wave, having only watched a few movies (plus, some french Nouvelle Vague), but Bara no sôretsu completely blew me away. I was fascinated by the constant rule-breaking, the rupture of a linear narrative and all of the artistic interpositions and pauses...this is definitely a movie to go back…
The most uncomfortable films I have ever seen. They are listed by how much discomfort I think they might cause.…
In early June, 2013, my best friend killed herself.
She took a cab to the middle of nowhere and vanished,…