FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES
SUN 6 DECEMBER | 12PM | Arc cinema | FREE
1969 | 18+ | 105mins | 16MM| JAPAN | D: Toshio Matsumoto
By branching out of his documentary career, experimental director Toshio Matsumoto produced his most revered work—the intoxicating and surreal debut feature that is Funeral Parade of Roses. A subversive take on the Greek tragedy Oedipus, the film follows Eddie (played by queer icon Shinnosuke Ikehata AKA Peter, who later won critical acclaim in Akira Kurosawa’s Ran), a notorious hostess and rising star of a queer nightclub in Tokyo’s underground scene. Eddie is passionately enveloped in destructive intimacy and a violently jealous love triangle, and as a result is confronted with traumatic childhood memories. This all comes to a head with the film’s dizzying climax—fuelled by a whirlwind of drugs, sex, music and undeniably fabulous glamour.
Matsumoto splices narrative with documentary-style interviews alongside arthouse, avant-garde and Brechtian performance devices, all the while confronting the then taboo subjects of gender and sexuality head on. Catch a rare glimpse into the queer community of 1960s Japan through this visual and sonic cacophony of Japanese New Wave cinema.