‘Funeral Parade of Roses’ at Cinefamily


Long unavailable in the U.S., director Matsumoto’s shattering, kaleidoscopic masterpiece is one of the most subversive and intoxicating films of the late 1960s: a headlong dive into a dazzling, unseen Tokyo night world of drag queen bars and fabulous divas, fueled by booze, drugs, fuzz guitars, performance art, and black mascara. No less than Stanley Kubrick cited the film as a direct influence on his own dystopian classic, “A Clockwork Orange.”

An unknown club dancer at the time, transgender actor Peter (from Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran”) gives an astonishing Edie Sedgwick/Warhol superstar-like performance as hot young thing Eddie, hostess at Bar Genet – where she’s ignited a violent love triangle with reigning drag queen Leda (Osamu Ogasawara) for the attentions of club owner Gonda (played by Kurosawa regular Yoshio Tsuchiya, from “Seven Samurai” and “Yojimbo”).