Funeral Parade of Roses
Bara no sôretsu
A new restoration of the 1960s classic is a dazzling dive into an unseen Tokyo.
It imparts the thrill of witnessing the hedonism and lawlessness – both sexual and artistic – of a bygone culture ... where and when, you wonder, will cinema ever get quite this wild again?
Passion, ego and revenge abound in Club Genet when a wild love triangle erupts between a beautiful young hostess, the club’s owner and its reigning queen. Cited by Stanley Kubrick as a direct influence on A Clockwork Orange, Toshio Matsumoto’s kaleidoscopic portrait of Tokyo’s gay counterculture continues to be one of the most subversive and intoxicating films of the late 1960s.
Transgender actor Peter (from Akira Kurosawa’s Ran) gives an astonishing Warholian performance in the lead role of Eddie. Whether laughing with drunken businessmen, eating ice cream with her girlfriends or fighting in the streets with a local girl gang, Eddie is something to behold. “She has bad manners, all she knows is coquetry,” complains her rival Leda – but in fact, Eddie’s bad manners are simply being too gorgeous for this world. Her bell bottom pants, black leather jacket and Brian Jones hair-do is a direct threat to the social order, both in Club Genet and the streets of Tokyo.
Freely mixing documentary interviews, film-within-a-film asides, Oedipal premonitions of disaster, Funeral Parade of Roses is the singular vision of Toshio Matsumoto, one of Japan’s leading experimental post-war artists.
Fuelled by booze, drugs, fuzz guitars, performance art and black mascara, Funeral Parade of Roses offers a frank, openly erotic portrait of an underground community of artists and drag queens. Featuring breathtaking black-and-white cinematography by Tatsuo Suzuki, the film has been lovingly restored from the original 35mm camera negative.
READ: Why Funeral Parade of Roses is a landmark of Japanese queer cinema
Tamsin Cleary, BFI, June 2020
READ: Gender post apocalypse in Funeral Parade of Roses
Bobuq Sayed, ACMI, October 2017
READ: Film of the Week: Funeral Parade of Roses
Jonathan Romney, Film Comment, June 2017
READ: Funeral Parade of Roses offers a peek into a hidden world
Charles Bramesco, Little White Lies, June 2017
17 Dec 2020 – 17 Feb 2021
Contains high impact themes, strong violence, drug use, infrequent coarse language, brief sex scenes & brief nudity. Viewers must be 18 years of age or above.