‘Funeral Parade of Roses’ (‘Bara no sôretsu’): Film Review

Toshio Matsumoto mixes novella and documentary techniques to etch a LGBTQ stage in late-1960s Tokyo.

A window into a freewheeling, late-’60s Tokyo even many Japanophiles will be unknown with, Funeral Parade of Roses centers on a happy subculture abounding in bars staffed by group in drag. Spicing a illusory account adult with snippets of documentary interviews, initial interludes, and fractured chronology, it was expelled in 1969 by Toshio Matsumoto, a idealist and initial film/video artist generally meddlesome in boundary-testing documentary films. Practically secret here, it has been easy by Cinelicious, a same folks who recently brought a oversexed unusual animation Belladonna of Sadness to these shores, and it should interest to many of a same exotica-hungry cinephiles, in further to LGBT moviegoers extraordinary about this section of their history.

Mastumoto’s initial underline film after many initial and documentary shorts (he died this Apr during 85), a design has one feet in a universe of a avant-garde: We infrequently hang out in integument bedrooms where art-damaged characters uncover their cinema to any other though spend some-more time removing high or yearning for drugs they don’t have. The ringleader here is an unconvincingly bearded auteur called Guevara.

But a categorical storyline revolves around a some-more blurb underground, where bars support to businessmen who expected are vital in a closet. In one, a Bar Genet, a categorical captivate is Eddie (Shinnosuke Ikehata, aka “Peter,” a real-world drag luminary who continues to perform today). Eddie, immature and waiflike with mascara-enhanced eyes, is hidden courtesy from a club’s comparison Madame, Leda (Osamu Ogasawara); she’s also personally circumference in on Leda’s boyfriend, Gonda (Yoshio Tsuchiya, a pro actor who worked with Kurosawa). This adversary drives a tract in a herky-jerky approach — Leda seems to locate a integrate entrance out of a adore hotel during a movie’s start, though afterwards we’re hopping around in time to points during that she was merely questionable and angry. At a many amusing, this dispute erupts into a pop-surreal bar fight in that annoy is manifested in a cork-gun showdown and insults fly about in comic-book word balloons.

Elsewhere, Matsumoto pokes fun during thespian scenes by concomitant them with hokey carousel song or undercranking a camera — as when a military raid on a bar formula in Gonda and a partner in quick motion, rifling by a bureau to get out all a drugs and other contraband.

But as impertinent as it is, Funeral Parade is no comedy. Periodically, it switches to on-the-street interviews in an try to know a youths who call themselves “gay boys,” though don’t indispensably meant that in a contemporary sense; some seem to be sincerely unfortunate in a lifestyle. And as is hinted several times, Eddie is due for some tragedy during a end, enacting a disfigured arrange of Eddie-pus Rex part that a prolongation appears to have inflicted on trusting bystanders like some horrific Happening. Reportedly, Stanley Kubrick was really shabby by all this while devising A Clockwork Orange; while a films are really different, a certain ratio of sex, fear and nihilistic comedy gives any a strangely captivating power.


Production companies: ATG, Matsumoto

Distributors: Cinelicious Pics, Cinefamily

Cast: Shinnosuke Ikehata (aka Peter), Yoshio Tsuchiya, Osamu Ogasawara, Yoshimi Jo, Koichi Nakamura, Saako Ota, Flamenco Umeji, Taro Manji, Toyosaburo Uchiyama

Director-Screenwriter: Toshio Matsumoto

Producer: Mitsuru Kudo

Director of photography: Tatsuo Suzuki

Editor: Toshie Iwasa

Composer: Joji Yuasa


In Japanese

105 minutes



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