A masterpiece of the Japanese New Wave and queer avant-garde cinema as a whole. Influenced by the French New Wave and influenced Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. This documentary/fiction hybrid plays with time, structure, gender, movement, and cinema itself. Gorgeously shot and filmed. As a time capsule of the Sixties in Japan, the movie is a valuable historical document. But as a work of art it is timeless.
Although it rips an ending from the pages of tragedy which (perhaps) undermines the empowerment, Funeral is above all else playful. Play in the Haraway sense, the great boundary-tester of where I end and you begin and seeing if we can't blur that line. It's phenomenon as psychedelia as politics! And consider the navel gazing that passes for radicalism in 69's Easy Rider. This is the counter culture we need.
Matsumoto's film is an unsung LGBT classic mixing aspects of experimental film with counter culture, documentary and drag culture. Even with its over the top grand guignol finish (with a self aware irreverence) this impresses. Recently rediscovered and making the re-release rounds this year. Fascinating, sexy and beautiful.
More linear/narrative than I was expecting... A gorgeous (4K restoration on the big screen!), playful, feverishly intertextual, queer 60s genre mash-up, that's part clever documentary & part 3-wall avant-garde theatre. Recursion, inversion, distortion, disruption, as the great inescapable levellers; as our fate! We're *all* Oedipus/Electra; all (ahem)'wounds' & 'blades'. Subversive, confrontational, iconoclastic fun.
FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES is almost like an eastern variation on the films that made Dušan Makavejev famous during the same period. It similarly has the quality of a portmanteau: a trifecta of approaches to countercultural cinema, weaved rather than bundled. Here we have: 1) a quasi-documentary about the performance of queer identity; 2) paradigm smashing drop-out freak-out; 3) cryptomythic mind-fuck. Yes, please!