Funeral Parade of Roses

Toshio Matsumoto · 1969
105min · 4K DCP
  • Saturday, Jun 1, 2024, 6:00pm
  • Sunday, Jun 2, 2024, 3:30pm
  • Monday, Jun 3, 2024, 7:15pm
  • Wednesday, Jun 5, 2024, 7:15pm

55th anniversary!

A key work of the Japanese New Wave and of queer cinema, director Toshio Matsumoto’s shattering, kaleidoscopic masterpiece is one of the most subversive and intoxicating films of the late 1960s: a headlong dive into a dazzling, unseen Tokyo night-world of drag queen bars and fabulous divas, fueled by booze, drugs, fuzz guitars, performance art and black mascara. No less than Stanley Kubrick cited the film as a direct influence on his own dystopian classic A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.

An unknown club dancer at the time, transgender actor Peter (from Kurosawa’s RAN) gives an astonishing Edie Sedgwick/Warhol superstar-like performance as hot young thing Eddie, hostess at Bar Genet — where she’s ignited a violent love-triangle with reigning drag queen Leda (Osamu Ogasawara) for the attentions of club owner Gonda (played by Kurosawa regular Yoshio Tsuchiya). One of Japan’s leading experimental filmmakers, Matsumoto bends and distorts time here like Resnais in LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, freely mixing documentary interviews, Brechtian film-within-a-film asides, Oedipal premonitions of disaster, his own avant-garde shorts, and even on-screen cartoon balloons, into a dizzying whirl of image and sound.

In Japanese with English subtitles. Part of our 20th Anniversary Celebration Series!

“Definitely not for everyone. But for those who do sit through, unlike the queen who ‘harrumphed out’ when I saw it, Funeral Parade of Roses is a very strong trip.” Bebe Scarpie, Drag

“You will walk away from Matsumoto’s film with a newfound appreciation of what movies can be.” Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com