Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Funeral Parade of Roses at The Revival House at ATA

Wednesday December 17, 2008.

Funeral Parade of Roses (Bara no soretsu) dir. Toshio Matsumoto, Japan, 1969.

Queens, club kids, drug dealers, and cabaret managers inhabit a monochromatic post-war Japanese underworld, cinematically reminiscent of Hiroshima Mon Amour, and imbued with a quintessentially Japanese combination of the deeply personal and utterly formalized detachment. I am told the film was influential on Kubrick's adaptation of A Clockwork Orange, and this may be true in the visual depiction of ultra-violence, but I can't source an actual quote from Kubrick himself on this. (Please leave a comment if you can source an actual Kubrick quote for me.) Sections of the film are almost experimental, and the editing becomes pleasantly free-form at times. The narrative is almost baffling and deceptively simple at the same time. Cleverly, cast members are interviewed within the film in a Brechtian touch; however, this is complicated by the presence of a pornographic film-within-a-film. Sometimes, the actors are interviewed as the actors of the porno, discussing that film; other times, they're interviewed as the actors of Funeral Parade of Roses itself, even discussing action which hasn't happened yet.  

Funeral Parade of Roses was the Revival House series ender.  Printed programs came with a CD of music from the screenings and web announcements, which is a nice touch.  "T" did a great job putting this together.  I hope this kind of programming continues in the future.  ATA's location on the vibrant Valencia corridor is great for this kind of thing.

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