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…
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…
Roses are some of the most convincing physical representations of beauty in the world and are also one way to effectively make love tangible. As a metaphor, roses may be overused, but employed by Toshio Matsumoto in his 1969 masterpiece Bara No Soretsu (Funeral Parade of Roses) in a way that presents them as ill-fated objects of life and love, makes for an unforgettable piece of Japanese cinema, using objects of beauty as both a blessing and a curse, showing the pains that go along with beauty and life itself. The film, which is a loose adaptation of the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, revolves around Eddie, a transvestite entertainer, riding the wave of turbulence of 1960’s counterculture as a means…
A wildly experimental and shocking picture which blends arthouse and documentary styles to tremendous effect. It's a transgressive film with incest, girl gangs, slapstick humour and gender-bending, confounding and uninhabited sexuality that makes the film both a product of it's time and decades ahead of it.
"Roses were her favorite flower." "They had to be artificial too."
What better way to explore the overlapping ambiguities of "reality" and "performance", of "political" and "personal", than by chronicling the lives of trans women. Striking is how non-exploitative the whole thing is. Unlike Warhol - who Matsumoto is occasionally indebted to - "Funeral Paradise of Roses" humanizes its subjects, rather than painting them as fascinating objects of study - a notable feat even today. The depictions of Eddie's abusive relationship with her mother hit close to home, and are some of the most viscerally emotional moments of the film. Compassion here shines through.
not only one of the best of ATG, but of japanese new wave. the story of 'eddy' not becoming a king like Oedipus, but a queen.
A frequent subject in Amos Vogel's seminal Film as a Subversive Art, Toshio Matsumoto's work is rarely mentioned in the United States anymore, so Joe Bryl's free screening of FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES--often listed among his major works--is a welcome reminder of his career. The film is an unflinching look at drug abuse, counterculture, and transvestism in 60s Tokyo, purportedly similar to contemporaneous work by Andy Warhol and William Klein in its collage of documentary and pop-art sensibilities. (It also shares a financier--the Art Theater Guild--with some of the most challenging Japanese films of the era, including Shohei Imamura's A MAN VANISHES, Yoshishige Yoshida's EROS PLUS MASSACRE, and Oshima's DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF.) The film was all but unprecedented…
This is the sexiest goddamn movie i've ever seen
A frequent subject in Amos Vogel's seminal Film as a Subversive Art, Toshio Matsumoto's work is rarely mentioned in the United States anymore, FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES is an unflinching look at drug abuse, counterculture, and transvestism in 60s Tokyo, purportedly similar to contemporaneous work by Andy Warhol and William Klein in its collage of documentary and pop-art sensibilities. (It also shares a financier—the Art Theater Guild—with some of the most challenging Japanese films of the era, including Shohei Imamura's A MAN VANISHES, Yoshishige Yoshida's EROS PLUS MASSACRE, and Oshima's DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF.) The film was all but unprecedented in Japanese cinema for its (male) homoeroticism, and this trait only helped to make it more controversial at home.…
Funeral Parade of Rose is a 1969 melodrama that does Oedipus Rex in the world of Tokyo's drag queen bars. It's incredibly entertaining, with its swings from pure Almodovar (catfights between the girls send falsies & wigs flying, all speeded-up and scored to The William Tell Overture) (yes, Stanley Kubrick saw this before making A Clockwork Orange), to pure documentary (interviews with the cast, mostly non-actors, about their lives in the bars, and whether they would ever like to get married & settle down), to Godardian satire (one of the main characters is also the drug dealer to a bunch of underground filmmakers led by a guy called Guevara who wears a glued-on beard), to horror movie (there are two quite gory…
"The outlines are always changing."
That's the truest thing I've heard in quite some time.
A rare picture with a healthy amount of contempt for its viewers.
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,…