Entertainment » Movies

Funeral Parade of Roses

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Jun 16, 2017
'Funeral Parade of Roses'
'Funeral Parade of Roses'  

This is a re-issue of the seminal edgy Japanese arthouse movie from 1969 that for a very long time was unavailable in the U.S., even though was a major influence for Stanley Kubrick when he made "A Clockwork Orange." It is very loosely based on the ancient Greek legend of Oedipus (the guy who slept with his mum and then killed his dad). The difference in writer/director Toshio Matsumoto's movie is that Eddie the transgender protagonist (Pîtâ) sleeps with his father and murders his mother.

The plot follows the high-strung Eddie in his determined quest to win the heart of Greco (Flamenco Umeji), the boss of the Genet Bar where Eddie works. The trouble is that he is not Greco's only suitor, as he is also being pursued by the femme-fatale Leda (Osamu Ogasawaro). The struggle between the two leads to some outrageously gory climatic scenes, which are certainly not for the faint of heart.

On its released the movie was considered a masterpiece by many, but also was dismissed as an indulgent psychedelic mishmash by others. It's a visual overload with some speeded-up montages and a furious pace, and set to classical music, all of which has been edited to both bedazzle and confuse. This intense depiction of the gay sub-culture in 1960s Tokyo is a bizarre avant-garde piece of work that will both shock and enthrall. 

This is definitely one that is strictly for devoted cinephiles, as it will surely test the patience and the stamina of everyone else.

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.


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