Funeral Parade of Roses / 薔薇の葬列

Scarred for life


Release Date: September 13, 1969
Director: Toshio Matsumoto
Language: Japanese

Who should watch this movie: Imagine a ven-diagram of people who like horror movies and people who like arthouse, high brow capital C Cinema. This movie is for the people in the middle. 

When should you watch this movie: If you are not in the middle of the above diagram, never. If you are part of the small target audience, watch it with someone else who is also in that population. Do not watch before going to sleep. 

The sell: I’m not kidding when I say this movie scarred me for life. It was introduced to me as an avant-garde movie about the Japanese gay community in the 60s, so you can imagine that I was excited going in. I was cruelly misled. Funeral Parade of Roses is an avant-garde horror film based on a gender-bent oedipus story. Blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, this movie takes you through the Tokyo underground through the eyes of Eddie, a drag queen and sex worker who – yes – murders his mother and has sex with his father. It’s fucked up. But as much as I hate to admit it, it is a really interesting movie and is worth watching purely to analyze the layers and layers of political messaging. It is a staple of the modern Japanese film canon and I will never ever watch it again. You can’t make me.

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