An electrifying journey into the nether-regions of the late-’60s Tokyo underworld.
An electrifying journey into the nether-regions of the late-’60s Tokyo underworld.
Bara no soretsu, Nos funérailles en rose, O Funeral das Rosas
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, sex work, and dizzying nightlife of Japanese LGBT (mostly G & T) culture of the late sixties. Seeing the inherent violence, exclusion,…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
TW: suicide, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia
The first time I watched this, I was not ready to call myself a woman. At the time, I had not yet begun my social transition offline and I had not begun my medical transition. I was floundering, hopeless, lost, afraid, and filled with self-loathing, but all of that had been muted for a long time under the crushing weight of grief and guilt over Kaylie's suicide. (I still think of her every day, and when I watched this, her ghost sat beside me.) Internalized transphobia would wound me every time I tried to think of myself as a woman; internalized misogyny would rip the wound open. I still struggle with these feelings, with this…
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…
The interviewer's cluelessness and the sincerity and openness of the interviewees stands out. Their voices are given more credibility than the interviewer, than the director, than the filmmakers entirely. This is the heart of the film's sympathy. The Oedipal plotline was a shock to one of my friends/comrades who watched with me; this time around I saw its pieces fall neatly into place. It's hard to remember what it's like to watch a film without any understanding of what you're going into, even though I do it all the time. It's also funnier each time, watching the internal commentary, watching the weird jokes about Menas Jokas and party games. However, the imagery still stands out over the rest of the film; three gay boys at the urinals destroys every other queer film imagery ever.
Pride month: 17/30
i think maybe movies peaked with this movie
I think to start this review off, I need to clarify that I've been struggling with my gender identity for pretty much my entire life. I've never felt right being a guy, I've always had more feminine interests. I never liked being masculine, I preferred expressing femininity with my speech and my actions. It wasn't until this year in early July where I accepted myself and started thinking of myself as a woman instead of a man. It was also exactly one month ago where I pubically came out as trans and the day I was truly born, as Violet.
What does this have to do with the film? Well it's because this film is what I've always wanted ever…
I think that this is probably a masterful work of cinema. I did not understand any of it but I really respect it lol. I think it’s a very important work in cinematic history in particular for movies about gender identity and I kind of can’t believe that this movie exists as it does but it’s awesome that it does.
I feel like this movie is more a vibe that you need to sit with and not a story meant to be analyzed. It’s experimental and interesting and nothing like I’ve ever seen. I can’t say I always enjoyed watching it but I do think it might be one of the most progressive films I’ve seen.
Art is most affecting when totally uninhibited -- "all definitions of cinema erased, and all doors are opened", as mentioned in the film. There are literally no rules just do whatever you want. Flashing distorted images, comic book speech bubbles, fuck it, have strangers watch the filming process, a narrator sitting down to react along with the audience, have the actors interviewed after a sex scene, there is nothing left to push because there are no boundaries to begin with. Much like Throw Away Your Books, what Matsumoto had achieved here is an invaluable time capsule, a whiplash inducing concoction of documentary, melodrama, soap opera and slapstick comedy, resulting in a peculiar looking, disorienting yet incredibly delicious alcoholic drink. Truly…
Openly resistant in playing into expectations at every juncture and shot with an aesthetic beauty by Tatsuo Suzuki, Funeral Parade of Roses incorporates documentary aspects into its arthouse sensibilities as it observes the troubles of Eddie, a young transvestite in Japan. It assumed its inspiration from the Athenian tragedy Oedipus Rex and affirmed itself to be influential on an assortment of subsequent movies; Stanley Kubrick often cited it as a constructive influence on his classic nineteen seventy-one film A Clockwork Orange.
Written and directed by Toshio Matsumoto, the filmmaker contours the power and identity of the film with flashbacks of childhood trauma while undercutting the melodrama with tones of sarcasm, and the acting is outstanding at all times and condensed with imaginative visualisations. The frequently rhythmic modifications of the film sways between physical comedy and gay erotica to exemplify as a great representation of Japanese New Wave cinema which accentuates a temperament of a playful underground gay subculture.
MY GOSH EDDIE IS SOOOO PRETTY
Out to provoke in every way it knows how, Toshio Matsumoto’s subversive classic is surely among the most undervalued films ever made. Just two years after its release, A Clockwork Orange became the defining example of its indisputable influence, with blocking, editing, costume-design, score, frame-rates and scenarios all seeming to be lifted from this. An argument could be made that the film’s debauched depiction of a culture already met with prejudice is harmful representation for a minority, but given its experimental technique and surrealist agenda, this argument seems somewhat unfair. As brimmed with drug abuse, sexual abuse and graphic violence this may be, its condemnation of intolerance ultimately overwhelms any sentiment of exploitation. Flaunting a real-life LGBT cast seldom seen for its time, Funeral Parade of Roses is a kaleidoscopic carnival of directorial flair and Oedipal outcomes, strengthened with a startling Buñuelian shock-factor.
Che film stupendo!
Un Edipo Re al contrario con tanto di citazioni, visive e non, dall'Edipo Re di Pasolini. Ma poi è uno spaccato di un'epoca e un mondo che davvero vengono troppo poco esplorati dal cinema, ed è tragico, ironico, divertente, appassionante, sperimentale. Una miriade di invenzioni visive e narrative, una fotografia stupenda, attori diretti benissimo... boh, non so più cosa dire, c'è troppa troppa roba qua dentro.
a film like this only gets made once a century. so beautiful yet so grotesque. i am going to tell everyone i know about this film.
Queer, psychodelic, experimental, stylistic and much more. Also try explaining the timeline of this one!
This had so much different experiementation with the film form that it still felt different and fresh 50 years later
This has way better fight scenes than any action movie I've ever seen
i want to be eddie so bad
Ainda que fosse lançado em 2021 seria inovador e original, é o que de fato pode ser chamado de obra atemporal. Completo em amplos os sentidos: em sua execução tanto estética quanto temática, completo em nos entregar uma trama bem amarrada e apesar de tão séria e urgente com viés surrealista, e que se pensarmos nos remetem a alguns outros filmes mais "populares" que vieram pouco depois, conclui-se que "hm, há muitas referencias" como Kubrick, por exemplo, como vi mencionarem por aí, tirou daqui algumas ideias para seu Laranja Mecânica. O surrealismo do filme em alguns momentos lembra "Daises" (1966) da inconfundível Chytilová, um Daises em preto e branco (como?! Ah, que sonho), a dinâmica entre cenas é de deixar…
To me this film felt like when you’re having a dream about swimming and you go underwater and you hold your breath but you could still breathe because it’s a dream and then you surface and try to breathe and you can’t for a second and you keep diving and coming back up and you lose track of when you should and shouldn’t be breathing. This film felt like the sixth time you’ve caught yourself from nodding off but you’re very tired and really could do with some sleep. Moments keep popping in and popping up. The big “twist” is revealed halfway through the film and yet we don’t notice, unless I am the only one who didn’t immediately get it. I appreciate those few who treat movies as art.
I'm one of those "cool not like other" modern movie queer gals in that I still like Kubrick & find his canon work culturally important but fuck that bitch for just quoting from this movie for Clockwork Orange because this should absolutely be in the major film canon. Incredible experience, forward thinking in form, story, subject, the mixing of documentary and metanarrative and quoting. Absolutely do yourself a favor and watch this.
"Every man has his own mask, which he has carved for a long time. Some wear the same masks all their lives, but others use a variety of masks. Some masks stress the features, but others are far from their original. Some are poor and easily distinguishable, but others are so skillfully made, they’re hardly distinguishable.
People always wear masks when they face each other. They see only masks. Even if they remove their masks, their faces seldom expose themselves. Because there may be second masks, and even third masks hidden under the first ones. Therefore, people often take your masks for you. And you take theirs for them.
The objective of love and hatred may be the masks. Faces…
I do not normally go for this kind of experimental film-making, but this has the sort of thematic depth, craft, and performances that I find missing in my other attempts to get into this.
Or who knows maybe queer content just helps bridge that gap for me.
Funeral Parade of Roses which is loosely based upon the greek play Oedipus Rex, takes us on a journey of exploration of the 1960s underground gay culture of Tokyo. Matsumoto Toshio's first feature film takes us on a wild journey and as once described, it is an "unpredictable, risk-drunk affair".
The film rings with the themes of violence, taboo and radicalisation. With frantic montages and close up shots, the movie presents to us strong subject matter and visuals. Funeral Parade of Roses is a reminder that tells us about the many possibilities that can be explored through a film.
MundoF 13,715 films
It’s an LGBTQ+ world and these are my other LGBTQ+ lists on Letterboxd:
➡️Minor Interest Films: In the Closet: A…
ArtsAmbition 1,666 films