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Funeral Parade of Roses

Bara no Sōretsu

1960s Japan receives an electrifying charge of counter cultural subversion in this visually striking, anti-establishment classic.

Credits

Dir-Scr Toshio Matsumoto
Prod Mitsuru Kudo
With Peter, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Osamu Ogasawara
Japan
1969
105min
Prod Co Arbelos

Take a walk on the subversive side with Toshio Matsumoto’s wild, kaleidoscopic vision of the underground scene in 1960s Japan. A significant influence on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Matsumoto’s journey through the drag queen bars, dimly-lit nightclubs and student digs that defined Tokyo’s counter-cultural landscape is a hallucinogenic blast. Trans actor Peter, so memorable as the androgynous Fool in Kurosawa’s Ran, here plays Eddie (more than a passing reference to Edie Sedgwick), one of the most desired hostesses at Bar Genet. Her tryst with the bar’s owner infuriates his main squeeze and the bar’s domineering drag queen-cum-matriarch Leda, ultimately leading to violence. Blending fictional drama with dramatic documentary footage, Matsumoto rails against Japanese patriarchy, American imperialism and what he saw as his country’s inability to reconcile its outdated value system with a rapidly changing world. Gorgeously shot, unashamedly erotic and occasionally very funny, this is a bouquet worth savouring.

Ian Haydn Smith

Additional information

Digitally restored in 4K resolution from the original 35mm negatives by Cinelicious in Los Angeles. 4K scanning by IMAGICA Corporation in Japan.

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