Funeral Parade of Roses (Japan – 1969 – 4K Restoration)



Apparently acknowledged by Stanley Kubrick as an influence on A Clockwork Orange, Toshio Matsumoto (1932-2017)’s Japanese cult film, Funeral Parade of Roses (1969), is released theatrically in a brand new 4K restoration.

Shot in glorious black and White, Funeral Parade of Roses follows the adventures of Eddie, a popular transgender figure active at nightclub Genet,  in the infamous Shinjuku district.  Eddie befriend a group of young revolutionaries, artists and filmmakers during a period of social unrest.

A personal rendering of the Oedipus myth (one sequence features the Japanese poster to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Oedipus Rex),  Funeral Parade of Roses has much to do with avant-garde and contemporary art in portraying the subculture of 1969 Tokyo, especially Shinjuku. It uses constant fractured narrative (Matsumoto was Continue reading

LUMIÈRE! Cannes spiritual leader’s masterclass



It was just a question of time in this digital restoration era for brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière, credited with the invention of Cinema as we know it, to be introduced properly to a 21st century audience.

Launched today (for Montrealers it’s at Centre PHI, January 26-27-28), LUMIÈRE! Offers a selection of more than a hundred shorts produced by the brothers and their affiliates between 1895 and 1905. It is all beautifully edited together and commented, in the fashion of a DVD audio commentary (or a Masterclass) by Cannes Film Festival Godfather himself, Thierry Frémaux. And we have to admit he is making an offer film buffs can’t refuse.

LUMIÈRE! is not only an essential homage. It introduces Continue reading

Classics : The Emigrants (Utvandrarna) – Sweden – 1971 – 191Mins



A Family saga of 19th century European settlers trying to make it to America, Jan Troell’s The Emigrants (1971) begins in rural Sweden. Life in poverty becomes so unbearable for a group of farmers they decide to go on the perilous trip at sea, by which way many won’t even reach the new world, in pursuing the American dream. Various obstacles, hostile environment are the theatre displaying their vulnerability, often leading to disillusion, with sudden death as the everlasting fear of God is lurking in every corner even in the new land.

Released in America, in a truncated version, missing almost an hour (only the 191 minutes version should be considered for viewing or reviewing), the film earned five Oscars nominations including a rare foray, for a film shot in another language then English, into the Best picture category, loosing to F. F. Coppola’s The Godfather.

Uninhibited, the director confronts the shadow of country fellow filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The director hired three star veterans of the master’s filmography, Continue reading

Classics: The New Land ( Nybyggarna) – Sweden – 1972 – 204 Mins)



Shot back to back with 1971’s The Emigrants (see review here:,  Jan Troell’s  The new land (Nybyggarna, 1972) picks up right where its prequel left off. It features the same crew and cast (minus several deceased characters) headed by Liv Ullmann and Max Von Sydow. Only music duty (The Emigrants was notorious Erik Nordgren last scoring assignment), with Bengt Ernryd and Georg Oddner as appointed composers, offers a significant change especially in the later half of this second installment.

In The New land, The group of freshly Americanized 19th century Swedish immigrants works the earth under extreme conditions and difficult circumstances. Some leave for adventure in California because of the gold fever, women give birth at an alarming rate, they face an uprising by the natives while the American civil war is at their door… Welcome to America.

As The Emigrants went to the Oscars, in five major categories, Continue reading

Classics: Le silence de la mer (Melville – 1949)



Jean-Pierre Melville’s first feature, Le silence de la mer, is a 1949 adaptation of the short story by Jean Bruller (Pen name: Vercors) written in 1942 under Nazi occupied France.

During world war II, a man and his niece’s residence is assigned to a German officer. The officer is an idealistic and a man of culture. Trying to establish a dialogue with his two reluctant hosts he is confronted to their perpetual silence as a form of resistance. They don’t even acknowledge is presence. In response Continue reading