13 Oct 20178:45 pm | Cinema 1 |
BFI Film Festival: 243 features. 67 countries. 15 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
Take a walk on the subversive side with Toshio Matsumoto’s wild, kaleidoscopic vision of the underground scene in 1960s Japan.
A significant influence on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Matsumoto’s journey through the drag queen bars, dimly-lit nightclubs and student digs that defined Tokyo’s countercultural landscape is a hallucinogenic blast. Trans actor Peter, so memorable as the androgynous Fool in Kurosawa’s Ran, here plays Eddie (more than a passing reference to Edie Sedgwick), one of the most desired hostesses at Bar Genet. Her tryst with the bar’s owner infuriates his main squeeze and the bar’s domineering drag queen-cum-matriarch Leda, ultimately leading to violence.
Blending fictional drama with dramatic documentary footage, Matsumoto rails against Japanese patriarchy, American imperialism and what he saw as his country’s inability to reconcile its outdated value system with a rapidly changing world. Gorgeously shot, unashamedly erotic and occasionally very funny, this is a bouquet worth savouring.
(Notes by Ian Haydn Smith)
Funeral Parade Of Roses, dir. Toshio Matsumoto, Japan 1969, 105min