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!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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…
"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 + Warhol + jigsaw puzzle editing + traps = KINO
I am the wound and the dagger, both the victim and the executioner.
Funeral Parade of Roses is an experimental take on the perception and projection of gender, an unflinchingly accurate portrayal of underground, substantively anti-establishment gay culture defined by drug use, sexual liberation, and intimacy formed out of desperation. Similar in construction to Bergman's Persona in its acknowledgement of its medium as a means of communicating existentialism and identity, Roses utilizes sequences depicting the mingling of gender-less flesh and intercuts disparate elements of the story nonlinearly in the service of portraying the depressing truth about gay/trans existence.
At one point, a character acknowledges the "fake" roses that appear throughout the film, admitting that the moments of happiness for those within the community are fleeting and largely manufactured in a world of inescapable…
Beautiful film! Everything about it is beautiful. The story, editing, shots, atmosphere, everything. The subject is pretty relevant even today, but set in late 60's Japan. A new favorite.
Having seen a few of the short films from Toshio Matsumoto I was familiar with his style going in, also I have been wanting to watch this for some time. An amalgam of underground existentialism poured through the cultural conflicts of its group of characters. Witty, sad, and maddening (but in a psychological aspect) all work in this docu-drama that paints us the story of real personal and social struggle. The 60's was indeed a time to be alive and if you're like me you wish you could've been there and absorbed it all, in any country, in any city.
Films like this touch on the youthful constructs that are still being fought for today, so what really adds to…
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.
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,…