Deals with the intolerably hard life of a family of four, the only inhabitants of a very small Japanese island in the Setonaikai archipelago. Several times a day they row over to the ... See full summary »
The day before Japan announces its defeat in WW2, a very ill Shusaku arrives in Okayama. He meets Shinko, an innkeeper, who inadvertently gives him the will to live as he spies her crying ... See full summary »
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
A man penetrates by night in a nurse dormitory planning to kill them all. While he accomplishes to his self imposed task thoughts and obsessions come to his mind revealing his love deficits... See full synopsis »
A man is confined to a mental institution after trying to murder his fiancee. Two doctors relate his problem to an Asian philosophy that states that mental defects are transmitted from ... See full summary »
In a key moment around the half-way mark in Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses, the young protagonist Eddie, a transsexual working in Tokyo, stabs his mother's lover and then his mother himself. Matsumoto's film is full of Oedipal subtexts, but here Eddie kills his mother to (perhaps) get to his father, so it is the reverse of the Oedipus story. In fact, most of the film is 'backwards' in the traditional sense, full of narrative tricks, contrasting styles and shifts in tone, moving from melodrama to documentary to horror with each scene.
Eddie (played by real-life queen Pita) is a drag-queen working at a top Tokyo underground club ran by Gonda (Yoshio Tsuchiya). Eddie is the top attraction at the club, much to the envy of ageing madam Leda (Osamu Ogasawara). When Gonda starts a secret affair with Eddie, Leda finds out and plans to hurt and disfigure Eddie in her jealousy. Running alongside this fictional storyline are various interviews with the real-life queens who act in the film, who offer insights about life in Tokyo for queens and how the film will represent them.
There was a huge boom in Japan in the 1960's of films now known as Japanese New Wave. Funeral Parade of Roses is certainly one of the most daring and technically innovative, stripping back genre (and even cinematic) conventions to create one of the most important films in the history of Gay Cinema. This leads to an occasionally confusing and head- spinning film, that can switch quickly from a generic love scene to a moment of avant-garde (an argument between two queens have them shouting at each other with speech bubbles) to a bloody set-piece. One of the most inspirational films to come out of Japan, this was a favourite of Stanley Kubrick's, and no doubt the scenes that are played out in fast- forward were an influence on A Clockwork Orange (1971). Uncompromising, unapologetic cinema.
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