Funeral Parade of Roses


Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright85%
IMDb Rating7.8106289


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
956.27 MB
Japanese 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 0 / 4
1.74 GB
Japanese 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 1 / 23

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Quinoa198410 / 10

Breaking apart the form but keeping emotional resonance as incendiary and necessary

I know this term doesn't necessarily get thrown around much by critics when describing most films - though conversely it may be used too often when trying to pin a label on counterculture or subversive: films from the late 190s or into the 70s - but Funeral Parade of Roses is a fairly accurate example I think of a film that is kaleidoscopic. You can't say it's one thing or even three things because it will shape-shift or twist over into something else entirely.

The director Matsumoto clearly knows what the rules are for directing a "normal" scene, whatever that is, and by that I mean how to cut between shots and show two characters talking to each other, or to create some suspense between two sets of people (ie right before that girl gang fight, before it leads into the fast motion),and that's good because he's not just ready but committed to breaking the rules of film grammar and storytelling. Story? Who needs that when you can follow things by feelings and moods, or how deconstructing everything has its own construction (and the interviews are so crucial because it gives us a base of how real Trans women are in Japan, or at least those interviewed and how they, in fact, are the most "normal" ones here).

And even trying to ascribe Oedipus Rex, which I've read is what this leaps off from, is not something I would think immediately.... no, that's not entirely true. Where the film ends up, a particular revelation that brings to a climax what we saw midway through, in a jarring flashback involving crimes of unhinged passion that is shot and acted and presented without any pretense and yet has an air of how memory creating a heightened style of violence - being so real it becomes unreal and then loops around to real again - is staggering and shocking, not necessarily for the violence itself but for the effect of it, how there's so much of it that what has to come next is when other people see it, how spectatorship takes on another dimension... and isn't isn't what cinema does itself?

I'm not Trans and can't claim I can be wholly in the sense of knowing where characters like Eddy or Leda or the others are at or have been here, but that almost isn't an issue because of the raw power that Matsumoto brings as a director and that the performers like Peter bring in every frame (especially those where nothing is said but the face and physical movements tell more). I have also/however been in an environment with fellow film freaks as much Marijuana is consumed and weird unclassifiable shenanigans ensue (hey, college you know),and in a sense Funeral Parade of Roses is like witnessing creation while under the influence; when one is high, there can be a sensation if one is tapping into the creative spirit that you can (and *should*) do or try anything.

So why shouldn't Matsumoto cut to inserts of butts with one holding a rose? Why not the fast speed that feels like an homage to silent comedy (and lo and behold Kubrick followed suit)? Why not have flesh and body parts that have comet together through sex and lovemaking like abstract images, not connected to beings but still very alive (Hiroshima Mon Amour comes to mind, a little, but this is still a unique way to do it)? All those faces and reactions and how a person moves through a frame? Go for it!

Funeral Parade of Roses is last but not least a compelling example of how what seem to be condtradictions in execution are part of the intended style, of confrontational the audience to say that you can't take for granted what cinema can do. So sex and eroticism is silly... until it isn't. Violence can be quite silly and comical.. until it very much isn't. How someone chooses to be as a human being, identity as a gender, looks so theatrical with the long eye-lashes and coiffed hair and slathering of make up... but it's very much who these "Queens" are and that being a woman is not some parlor trick or game, or just a lustful object for men. Humans are complicated and so should cinema, and that's what I got from seeing this for a first time.

Reviewed by Bunuel19767 / 10

FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES (Toshio Matsumoto, 1969) ***

An all-night Italian TV program entitled "Fuori Orario" - which translates to "After Hours" - comprised of back-to-back films of all genres, nationalities and vintage, and hosted by an eccentric highbrow critic named Enrico Ghezzi - has for years been the fount of several interesting titles which, if it hadn't been for him, I would never have heard of, let alone watched (though I'd say that about a third of the alarming 500+ still-unwatched films I own on VHS are culled from that program!).

Anyway, FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES is one such example: when I learned it was scheduled to be shown, I made a cursory search via the Internet about the film and, from the little I found, I singled it out as one to record. However, I didn't watch it immediately (mainly because, unfortunately, the tape I used for the recording was some 20 years old and still has a habit of halting playback automatically and subsequently refusing to load!; in fact, a couple of weeks back I lost two early Shohei Imamura films I unwisely taped on a similarly fragile VHS) but, since that time, I've come across a few more references to Matsumoto's film - most recently its being announced as a forthcoming Region 2 DVD release from the impressive "Masters Of Cinema" label - which have only intrigued me even more. Then, yesterday, as I was listening to Tony Rayns' Audio Commentary for Hiroshi Teshigahara's unusual debut PITFALL (1962) - incidentally a Eureka/MoC edition - he mentioned the film once again (and, perhaps unwittingly, proceeded to give away the devastating plot twist at the film's conclusion!) in the context of its similarly unconventional nature. So, this time, I decided not only to watch FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES at long last - whatever the condition of the tape which, fortuitously, turned out to be not too bad - but, being in something of an art-house/Asian cinema vein, I made a whole list of (mostly just as obscure) titles to follow...

Now, after this long-winded introduction, let's get down to the business at hand: a potentially off-putting subject matter (the trials and tribulations of a community of transvestites) is transformed by the writer-director's aggressively experimental style, drawing on the contemporary free-form technique of European films rather than the cinematic conventions which are traditionally Japanese. In fact, the narrative (if it can even be called that, in view of its many flashbacks, flash-forwards and repeated actions) is frequently interrupted by having the cast sit down for interviews being filmed by a TV crew; interestingly, Ingmar Bergman's contemporaneous THE PASSION OF ANNA (1969) used a similarly unique device to "explain" his characters' motivations, as it were. Despite its generally serious tone, seemingly a requisite for an art-house film, FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES is not devoid of humor or, at the very least, a distinct sense of the absurd: the catfight scenes between the "women" are shot in accelerated motion - a technique allegedly borrowed from this film by Stanley Kubrick for A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)!; the scene of a trio of transvestites taking a leak in a men's lavatory (much to the consternation of those present); the linking image of a line-up of naked men with one of them having a rose firmly planted between his butt-cheeks; a revolutionary hippie named Guebara having a sneezing fit in extreme close-up; and the moment during one of the pauses for interviews when a crew member slinks past the camera filming the actor playing the man pretending to be a woman (are you confused yet?) holding a dead rat by the tail! With regards to Peter, the lead actor (who, amazingly, later turned up as The Fool in RAN [1985], Kurosawa's masterful adaptation of Shakespeare's "King Lear"),I have to say that he makes for a very convincing female impersonator - to the point where, if it weren't for his clearly masculine voice, one forgets that he's actually watching a man in drag! The love scenes (which, thankfully, aren't very explicit) are sensitively handled and, in general, the film doesn't sentimentalize the gay community - nor does it criticize the drug scene which seems to be as much a part of their lifestyle as anything else. As I said earlier, I knew of the film's reversal of Greek tragedy at the climax from Tony Rayns' commentary for PITFALL but, given its complex structure, I was still blown away by the revelation which, in turn, leads to an extremely violent ending that is not easily forgotten. By the way, I found the brownish hue of the black-and-white cinematography to be an interesting touch: I don't know if this was done intentionally, or whether it was just a feature of the print I happened to watch - but, at this juncture, I think I'd be somewhat disappointed if this unique "dirty" look were missing from the film once the upcoming DVD is released (perhaps anyone who might own the Japanese disc could chime in about this?)...

FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES was, by all accounts, an remarkable debut feature for Toshio Matsumoto; he followed it with only 3 more films but, from the little I've read about them, they sound interesting too and well worth seeking out (so far they have only been available as part of a Japanese Limited Edition Box Set, though not all the films feature English subtitles!).

Reviewed by NateManD10 / 10

Disturbing but important work of gay world cinema!

"Funeral Parade of Roses" is an underrated unknown work of Japanese gay cinema. It was one of Stanly Kubric's favorite films, and it had a significant influence on the the style of "A Clockwork Orange". The film deals with Japanese drag queens, including the clubs, rivalry and their sex lives. In an Oedipus fashion, except reversed, the main character kills his mother so he can have relations with his father. Director Toshio Matsumato seemed to be way ahead of his time for his portrayal of sexuality and violence on screen. Also in a Bergman like fashion, actors are interviewed so the audience realizes it's only a movie.(and a twisted one at that) The film has many hallucinatory scenes, and who could forget the drag queens using urinals. There's also a weird fight scene between the two drag queens, and when they yell comic bubbles pop out of their mouths. Thank God this movie is in black & white! It's very brutal, disturbing and violent at times; so watch with caution. "Funeral Parade of Roses", is simply shocking and brilliant!

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