Funeral Parade

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 905
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Movie Info

In a Japanese version of "Oedipus Rex," a gay son murders his mother and sleeps with his father.

Cast & Crew

Pîtâ
Eddie
Sh?tar? Akiyama
Himself
Kiyoshi Awazu
Himself
Emiko Azuma
Eddie's Mother
Chieko Kobayashi
Okei
Don Madrid
Tony
Koichi Nakamura
Juju
Sumiko Fujisawa
Line Producer
Jôji Yuasa
Original Music
Tatsuo Suzuki
Cinematographer
Toshie Iwasa
Film Editor
Setsu Asakura
Art Direction
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Critic Reviews for Funeral Parade of Roses

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (18)

Audience Reviews for Funeral Parade of Roses

  • Jun 17, 2017
    On my first day in Los Angeles I ended up at a small independent cinema called The Cinefamily, and by sheer luck I managed to get in. It just so happened to be the opening night of the 4K restoration of Toshio Matsumoto's highly transgressive and influential "Funeral Parade of Roses". It was a fantastic experience, not the least because of this community's fervor for such a lost gem of arthouse/experimental film. Set in the Tokyo underground, the film concerns several transvestite prostitutes, primary among them one named Eddie. We follow their love lives and drug lives with occasional pauses for cinema verite styled interviews centered around their perspectives on sexuality and culture. Jarring editing, strobe cuts, provocative and disturbing imagery, and frequent fourth wall breaking keep you on your toes all throughout the viewing. In terms of influence, the plot is very loosely adapted from Oedipus Rex, and it paved the way for movies like Park Chan-Wook's "Oldboy" and Gaspar Noe's "I Stand Alone". Stanley Kubrick was directly inspired by the fast-motion action sequences and utilized the same technique in "A Clockwork Orange", complete with whimsical organ music. In fact there's even a few phantom ride shots that just had to be an inspiration for many iconic sequences in Kubrick's 70s output. The meticulous level of restoration by Cinelicious is readily apparent, and it is wonderful to see this level of passion put into preserving such a critical piece of cinematic history. "Funeral Parade of Roses" is disturbing as it is hilarious, and now it is essential viewing for cinephiles due to its impending Blu-Ray release.
    K Nife C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2014
    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, <i>Bara no sôretsu</i> 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>"I am a wound and a sword, a victim and an executioner."</i> 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 inner turmoils (that is, at the end, a collective character study) refuses to be conventional. It is an ominous statement on alienation and the human spirit, which by definition, carries a complex psychological background, and is incessantly seeking for both physical and emotional means to be fully released to the hostile exterior: society itself. This hostile exterior brings me to a valid perspective that can help the fascinated viewer to approach towards such difficult audiovisual material: its timing of release. The story takes a deep dive to a complex reality: the homosexual/transsexual counterculture in Japan during the 1960s, an era of "Easy Rider" escapisms, of liberalist feminism, of Woodstock-like celebrations, of Kenneth Anger's psychosexual/Satanic/experimental proselitism, of "Gimme Shelter" fanaticism and sexual liberation. That is the whole real life context surrounding the film and its creators. Why is the timing so perfect today, then? For two reasons: a) the glimpses overload provided by Matsumoto takes us right back to that era, and b) oppression is a relevant issue today. In this way, we have a comparison between the era of our fathers and ours for the sole, simple purpose of social reflection. And finally, we have the unconventional nature of this avant-garde experiment. It carries emotional empathy, because the participants of transgender are seen as struggling victims. It carries a double moral, because their lifestyle is far from recommendable. It is explicit, because sexuality has several facets, sometimes erotic[1], sometimes disturbing[2], always unsettling[3] and nonetheless provocative, regardless of your sexual orientation. We all have the same impulses; whether to exploit them or not boils down to a matter of free will. This can be translated as: It is a world... [1] as human as yours, [2] difficult to live in, [3] and yet hard to understand. Matsumoto also makes sure to make a statement on the different masks that a person carves throughout his life for assuming different personalities, most of the times different than the original self. However, these masks can also be borrowed, lent or exchanged. The reasons vary. Call them hypocrisy, fear, alienation, paranoia, denial or lack of self-acceptance, all are masks and equally important (and equally tragic!). Was this the director's main intention? It is irrelevant, and it isn't. Maybe the answer could be this simple, but then some metafilm references are thrown into the formula, featuring the real life actors commenting on the actual movie's content and on their own characters. Like the 60s did so many times with us, from Jean-Luc Godard (<i>La Chinoise</i>) and Vilgot Sjöman (<i>I Am Curious - Yellow)</i> to William Greaves (<i>Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One</i>), we are confused by these intertwining levels of filmed-or-documented, acted-or-improvised cinematic reality and suprarreality. Let the film speak to you. It is not an enjoyable experience, or an entertaining one. This is not cinema to be enjoyed, but to be admired and/or dissected, depending on your response, and definitely mandates to be applied to your living present. Be warned, however: it also wears masks, but there is a deep message hidden within, its true mask-less personality, that represents its true essence. 99/100 P.S. You'll notice possible sources of inspiration for Kubrick's <i>A Clockwork Orange</i> (1971) in more than one scene, not mentioning its portrayal of sex, violence and conflicts.
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2012
    "Funeral Parade of Roses" has extra notoriety because its use of depraved, sped-up footage apparently inspired a similar "A Clockwork Orange" sex scene. But if this is your reason for seeing the movie, don't bother. You won't find the resemblance too striking. This Japanese film is not easy to watch, but its radical style will be familiar to Nagisa Oshima fans. Director Toshio Matsumoto throws in every jagged, disorienting trick he can manage, including jump cuts, flashbacks, captions, repeated scenes, dialogue with cartoon bubbles, an avant-garde score (murky variations on the children's song "Did You Ever See a Lassie?"), shots of the camera crew, bizarre inserted imagery (a flower stuck in a nude man's behind is a particular favorite) and cast interviews. Even the film's title is perversely withheld until 18 minutes have passed. There is not much story -- what's more important is the experimental filmmaking and the prominence of real-life transvestites. The homosexual love-triangle plot finds drag queens Eddie and Leda (both first-time actors) competing for the affections of club-owner Gonda (Yoshio Tsuchiya). The charismatic, unusually "attractive" Eddie is also nagged by traumatic childhood memories. But most of the screen time just depicts incidental behavior such as sex play, dancing, fighting, marijuana use, political protest and carousing in bars. This lack of narrative momentum can be wearying, but the shocking climax is a significant compensation.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2009
    What if writing novelties of say...Proust or Xingjian were to be translated as a neon mural of experimental musical compositions...add some Oedipal symbols,disjointed time-frames,oh..and vertical motives of multi-sexuality! There you have it,a "blow-up" of docu-confession,Matsumoto's personal ode to youth,highlighting an era of wine and roses (or if you like: opium and proses)
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer

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