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

29th Tokyo International Film Festival – Classics: Swallowtail Butterfly



Yentown. Drugs, prostitution, poverty. Tramps and scavengers society has deemed undeserving of even a proper burial upon death. Immigrants, orphans and people with no identity live in Yentown. Swallowtail Butterfly (1996) was a sensation at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival and won the 1998 Fantasia Best Asian Film award. It was the start of a lovely relationship between the festival and director Shunji Iwai. This week, the same film showed at the Tokyo International Film Festival as part of the Japan Now section.

The plot, images and characters are still valid in 2016. The story is told in three languages (Chinese, English and Japanese), and follows the protagonists’ evolution in their quest for the Self and their role in society. Jump cuts and quick pans build tension Continue reading

29th Tokyo International Film Fest : A Bride For Rip Van Winkle



Shunji Iwai is known for his lengthy films, and sometimes certain scenes are superfluous. However, due to intricate interpersonal relationships and surprising turn of events, excess length can be forgiven. The first half hour of A Bride For Rip Van Winkle builds the characters but is largely forgettable in the overall plot. Once the story gets rolling, it is a sentimental look at life.

There is a vaguely feminine touch throughout. The scenery and camera angles tend to beautify female characters that would otherwise be utterly ordinary looking. The imagery feels almost subjective, as if seen through female eyes rather than Continue reading

29th Tokyo International Film Fest – Classics : Tokyo Olympiad

* The 29th Tokyo film Festival offers a string of restored films either on archival 35mm prints or restored in the digital format.



Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad is not only one of the best sport film ever made, it is a work of art well balanced between its grandeur, made of technical mastery, and the lyrical intimacy that captures the human aspect of sports as well as Tokyo’s transformation to host the 1964 Olympics.

Armed with dozens of cameras, Ichikawa, not concerned by the desires of its financiers for an accurate report, came up with a 170 minutes cinematic and artistic personal reading of the event. Not interested either for statistics or podiums he delivers some striking images as equally great in scope as they are in depth. The sound, carefully re-worked in post-production, along with Toshirô Mayuzumi fine dramatic score, brings unity and adds depth to the scope. It was meant for the big screen.

Tokyo Olympiad is a masterpiece of World Cinema.