Funeral Parade Of Roses (18)
Uprising! Spirit of 68
Thu 01 Jan 1970
£7* | £5* under 25s
Dir. Toshio Matsumoto, 104 mins, 1969, Japan
A UK-wide programme of screenings and events exploring the cinema and the legacy of 1968 when decades worth of news took place in one year, from the Prague spring to the Paris riots, from the Tet Offensive to the killings of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. The UK saw student protests flare up on campuses across the country and rising tension in the wake of Enoch Powells Rivers of Blood speech, while in June a machinists strike at Dagenhams Ford plant heralded a burgeoning womens movement and paved the way for the Equal Pay Act.
Funeral Parade of Roses takes us on an electrifying journey into the nether-regions of the late-’60s Tokyo underworld. In Toshio Matsumoto’s controversial debut feature, seemingly nothing is taboo: neither the incorporation of visual flourishes straight from the worlds of contemporary graphic-design, painting, comic-books, and animation; nor the unflinching depiction of nudity, sex, drug-use, and public-toilets. But of all the “transgressions” here on display, perhaps one in particular stands out the most: the film’s ground breaking and unapologetic portrayal of Japanese gay subculture.
It (Funeral Parade of Roses) imparts the thrill of witnessing the hedonism and lawlessness-both sexual and artistic-of a bygone culture. You also feel an almost tragic surge of melancholia watching it: where and when, you wonder, will cinema ever get quite this wild again?
FILM COMMENT MAGAZINE
A classic of both queer cinema and experimental film.
UNDER THE RADAR
A cheeky and provocative experimental look at a largely unknown subculture.
Ultimately, this is a film to watch and watch again.