An electrifying journey into the nether-regions of the late-’60s Tokyo underworld.
An electrifying journey into the nether-regions of the late-’60s Tokyo underworld.
Bara no soretsu, Nos funérailles en rose, O Funeral das Rosas
I cannot speak for every gender non-conforming person in the world; I can only speak for myself. Firstly, I use "gender non-conforming" simply because I don't know a better term for it. Secondly, every time I see a film like this, I am trapped between feeling like I've dodged a bullet, feeling like an imposter, feeling jealous, and feeling like there should be more in art and media than the dark side of trans-life.
The film is a complex mess of imagery, a menage of docudrama, Warholian observation, theatrical hyperbole, and Greek tragedy, all of which capture the drugs, sex work, and dizzying nightlife of Japanese LGBT (mostly G & T) culture of the late sixties. Seeing the inherent violence, exclusion,…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
TW: suicide, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia
The first time I watched this, I was not ready to call myself a woman. At the time, I had not yet begun my social transition offline and I had not begun my medical transition. I was floundering, hopeless, lost, afraid, and filled with self-loathing, but all of that had been muted for a long time under the crushing weight of grief and guilt over Kaylie's suicide. (I still think of her every day, and when I watched this, her ghost sat beside me.) Internalized transphobia would wound me every time I tried to think of myself as a woman; internalized misogyny would rip the wound open. I still struggle with these feelings, with this…
With subliminal Warholian vignettes, fragments of cinematic hapax legomena (if such term could be applied to the film industry), assaulting psychosexual imagery, fragments of societal ridicule, jaw-dropping personifications, a fractured chronology, revolutionary techniques of film editing, a ghastly and hypnotic camera work and metafilm self-references, Bara no sôretsu is one of the most enthralling, unpredictable and thought-provoking avant-garde experiments that international celluloid has ever offered to mankind.
It starts with a statement:
"I am a wound and a sword, a victim and an executioner."
Then it proceeds with an alienating world beyond our comprehension. That is the first invitation you will ever receive to turn off your screen or leave the theater, because this nearly-metaphysical parade of memoir fragments and…
The interviewer's cluelessness and the sincerity and openness of the interviewees stands out. Their voices are given more credibility than the interviewer, than the director, than the filmmakers entirely. This is the heart of the film's sympathy. The Oedipal plotline was a shock to one of my friends/comrades who watched with me; this time around I saw its pieces fall neatly into place. It's hard to remember what it's like to watch a film without any understanding of what you're going into, even though I do it all the time. It's also funnier each time, watching the internal commentary, watching the weird jokes about Menas Jokas and party games. However, the imagery still stands out over the rest of the film; three gay boys at the urinals destroys every other queer film imagery ever.
Pride month: 17/30
would u believe me if i said the best film i’ve ever seen about transgender people and the best fully expressing how complex my identity is is a 1969 japanese art house movie which makes no coherent sense throughout.... bc yeah 😹😹😻
i think maybe movies peaked with this movie
"How long have you been a gay boy?"
"I was born that way."
For the time, this was controversial stuff indeed.
I'm trying to imagine the kind of impact that Funeral Parade of Roses would have had back in 1970; a time when this underground world was hidden from sight of the masses for fear of condemnation, conviction or worse. A time when the term 'homophile' was still being used in the US, pre the term 'gay' and long before the invent of LGB.
Evocative and lurid, extracting every cell of contrast from the black and white film, this is truly a thing of great beauty. A film with emotion. A film that dared to show imagery from the LGBT+…
I think that this is probably a masterful work of cinema. I did not understand any of it but I really respect it lol. I think it’s a very important work in cinematic history in particular for movies about gender identity and I kind of can’t believe that this movie exists as it does but it’s awesome that it does.
I feel like this movie is more a vibe that you need to sit with and not a story meant to be analyzed. It’s experimental and interesting and nothing like I’ve ever seen. I can’t say I always enjoyed watching it but I do think it might be one of the most progressive films I’ve seen.
Openly resistant in playing into expectations at every juncture and shot with an aesthetic beauty by Tatsuo Suzuki, Funeral Parade of Roses incorporates documentary aspects into its arthouse sensibilities as it observes the troubles of Eddie, a young transvestite in Japan. It assumed its inspiration from the Athenian tragedy Oedipus Rex and affirmed itself to be influential on an assortment of subsequent movies; Stanley Kubrick often cited it as a constructive influence on his classic nineteen seventy-one film A Clockwork Orange.
Written and directed by Toshio Matsumoto, the filmmaker contours the power and identity of the film with flashbacks of childhood trauma while undercutting the melodrama with tones of sarcasm, and the acting is outstanding at all times and condensed with imaginative visualisations. The frequently rhythmic modifications of the film sways between physical comedy and gay erotica to exemplify as a great representation of Japanese New Wave cinema which accentuates a temperament of a playful underground gay subculture.
I think to start this review off, I need to clarify that I've been struggling with my gender identity for pretty much my entire life. I've never felt right being a guy, I've always had more feminine interests. I never liked being masculine, I preferred expressing femininity with my speech and my actions. It wasn't until this year in early July where I accepted myself and started thinking of myself as a woman instead of a man. It was also exactly one month ago where I pubically came out as trans and the day I was truly born, as Violet.
What does this have to do with the film? Well it's because this film is what I've always wanted ever…
This film has no doubt been an inspiration for many other masterpieces. It is one of the greatest visual pieces ever made and should be worshipped by true film lovers. Having studied film I’m so shocked that this wasn’t included in any modules. Fucking hell they made us write pieces on films like bridget Jones and man of steal.
Well I guess you can’t expect much from higher education in the UK (£12,000+ for what????)😖
Let me just watch this another four or five times first.
Nothing could have prepared me for this whirlwind of horror. One of the most beautiful lgbtq movies ever. The editing is so expressive and haunting, subjectively bursting at the seams with memories and nightmares and sketches of comedy and sex and wow, it’s really that good. Just be open to Eddie’s experience and let the images flow.
Thank you Peter. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a vulnerable exploration of gender identity in my life... until now
this film is the coolest thing i've ever seen. i will be rewatching so i can understand everything, but it still is one of the most interesting pieces of film ever made. it is so very beautifully shot, it breaks all the rules of film, hair, makeup, and set design were all on point, and yay to lgbtq representation done well.
This and My Neighbor Totoro are the oft mentioned two wolves inside of me.
Penso sia diventato uno dei miei film prefe
Matusmodo's "Funeral Parade of Roses" is a transgressive, semi-avant garde look into the fascinating "gei boy" culture of trans women in late 1960's Tokyo. The historical context alone is interesting enough to watch it, but it's also a thoughtful film about identity with vivid direction that wheels you through the explicit underbelly of Japanese counterculture. Half "Paris is Burning," and half "A Clockwork Orange"; believe it or not, the latter is the only one to directly attribute influence.
if you didn’t clap when it told you to you’re lying and a coward
Japanese New Wave
People always wear masks when they face each other. They see only masks. Even if they remove their masks their faces seldom expose themselves.
Haven’t seen anything quite like this before. Honestly kinda awestruck
Might be my favorite closing shot of all time.
Toshio Matsumoto experimental film consists of edgy characters, ironic human behavior, and relatable Japanese societal view of nonconforming matters in daily. Exquisite poetic quotes here and there that could make great instagram caption.
I haven't seen anything quite like this. As a docudrama it sits somewhere in between Paris is Burning and Repulsion but it's editing and narrative framework makes it incredibly unique and fresh decades after it's release. The "gay boy" counterculture of Japan was something I was unfamiliar with, and this story revels in the hedonistic nihilism so many queers in modern society live by. There's just so much present on the surface I already loved; non-linear story telling, snappy art-house inserts, and fourth wall breaking are constants throughout. One of those older movies you recognize reflections of so many other independent movies you already loved. The way this film presents one of it's central themes, perception and the way we see ourselves, is absolutely hypnotizing. A movie you need a long walk after in order to unpack it all in your head.
This film has a lil bit of everything and I loved it! I loved the editing the cross cutting was mwah. Normally I stray away and don’t warm up to films with jumbled structures but this obviously works.
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