Funeral Parade of Roses


Directed by: Toshio Matsumoto
1969 / 105 minutes / Unclassified 18+ (restricted to persons 18 years and over)


“What a mix of cruelty and laughter it is!”

By branching out of his documentary career, experimental director Toshio Matsumoto produced his most revered work—the intoxicating and surreal debut feature that is Funeral Parade of Roses. A subversive take on the Greek tragedy Oedipus, the film follows Eddie (played by queer icon Shinnosuke Ikehata aka Peter, who later won critical acclaim in Akira Kurosawa’s Ran), a notorious hostess and rising star of a queer nightclub in Tokyo’s underground scene. Eddie is passionately enveloped in destructive intimacy and a violently jealous love triangle, and as a result is confronted with traumatic childhood memories. This all comes to a head with the film’s dizzying climax—fueled by a whirlwind of drugs, sex, music and undeniably fabulous glamour.

Matsumoto splices narrative with documentary-style interviews alongside arthouse, avant-garde and Brechtian performance devices, all the while confronting the then taboo subjects of gender and sexuality head on. Catch a rare glimpse into the queer community of 1960s Japan through this visual and sonic cacophony of Japanese New Wave cinema.

Queer & Transgender Visibility in Cinema
20 February 2021
Art Gallery of NSW

Join us for a post-film discussion with special guests in a talk focused around queer identity and non-conformative gender representation in cinema. This discussion will also delve into how these topics are reflected in Funeral Parade of Roses and why this film is still relevant today.

Maija Howe (Moderator)
Bhenji Ra
Jen Atherton
Charlotte Mars

Audience warning: Contains violence and sexual references

Saturday 20th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Wednesday 3rd March

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Sunday 6th December

National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra

Saturday 23rd January

General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Wednesday 27th January

General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Screens in: Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane

Director: Toshio Matsumoto

Screenplay: Toshio Matsumoto

Art Director: Setsu Asakura

Music: Joji Yuasa

Producer: Mitsuru Kudo

Cast: Peter (Shinnosuke Ikehata), Yoshio Tsuchiya, Osamu Ogasawara, Azuma Emiko, Toyosaburo Uchiyama, Yoshimi Jo, Koichi Nakamura and Madrid Don

Genre: Drama

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

Format: 16mm b&w

This film is part of the JFF Classics 2020 program, Provocation and Disruption: Radical Japanese Filmmaking from the 1960s to the 2000s.

From subversive Japanese New Wave cinema to surrealist psychedelic expressions and gritty cyberpunk, Provocation and Disruption features boundary-shattering masterpieces from avant-garde Japanese auteurs including Seijun Suzuki, Shinya Tsukamoto and Nobuhiko Ōbayashi. The program is all about the poetic, the abstract, the visceral and the abrasive in visionary Japanese cinema. This program broadly encapsulates films that were fiercely uncompromising and transcended convention, each leaving its unique mark on Japan’s film industry.