GOLD MEDAL FILM
Screenplay by Toshio Matsumoto
Produced by Mitsuru Kudo, Keiko Machida
Starring Peter, Osamu Ogasawara, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Emiko Azuma
Running Time: 105 minutes
To say that I'm impressed with the style is a mere understatement, because it simply is more than just that which left someone like myself rather impressed. The style that Matsumoto applies here already has left its own influence on Stanley Kubrick's own masterpiece of A Clockwork Orange, and also helped serve as an inspiration for the twisted nature of the twist ending to Park Chan-wook's Oldboy. What Matsumoto created here is simply something rather disturbing for what it is but at the same time it is also one that is sure to stick inside of your own head.
The cinematography is also another thing I find rather incredible, because the very look of the film already hints the sheer absurd nature of whatever it is that's going to be witnessed on the screen. I loved what look Matsumoto was heading for from the start all the way to the very end. The very way this film is shot doesn't even feel like it's a product of its time. It's very much ahead of it already, to a point that it's just downright unbelievable.
At the same time, the film also comments on how we choose to hide ourselves behind masks, as there is much emphasis being placed on how many layers there are to them. It's amazing what metaphors are Toshio Matsumoto willing to present on the screen in here. And by the time the film ends, that's where I feel he goes out of his way to break out, by presenting images that are surely never going to leave the head of the viewers.
What amazes me so much about this is how the film manages to follow the structure of Oedipus Rex, which I feel the film is already using to its own benefit in order to create a more coherent structure with such an absurd style present throughout the whole production. The way that the themes of incest inside of Oedipus Rex help create an unforgettable leading character is also something that I find to be rather amazing. He's one figure that simply won't at all leave your very head once the film is over.
Usually I wait before classifying a film that I watch for the first time as an all-time favourite but that was simply how impressed I was with Funeral Parade of Roses. This movie already managed to find a spot among my all-time top 100 in one viewing and I can already say I just wish for the day when Criterion finally releases such an amazing film like this. This obscure little gem already deserves much more notice, the more I think of it the more I love it.