Funeral Parade of Roses
An unruly hybrid of avant-garde and pulp with a dash of cinema verité, Toshio Matsumoto’s taboo-breaking debut film was a direct influence on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Matsumoto transposes the Oedipus myth to Tokyo’s late-1960s drag underground as cross-dresser Eddie (played by real-life transvestite star Peter) must fend off a bevy of rivals. Still audacious after forty years and having never been released on home video in the US, Funeral Parade of Roses offers both an unflinching depiction of urban grit and a visionary collision of styles. Melding graphic design, comic books, still photographs, film pastiches, direct-to-camera soliloquys, animation, Fluxus-inspired performance art, mismatched sounds, overexposure, and documentary footage, Funeral Parade of Roses is bracingly radical in every sense of the word.
“Fuses the over-the-top intensity of Branded to Kill with the apocalyptic poetry of Gimme Shelter. Echoing the skull-bong vibe of American late-'60s disillusionment, Toshio Matsumoto views 1969 Tokyo through a haze of pot smoke and burning celluloid.”—Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper