Funeral Parade of Roses

Funeral Parade of Roses ★★★½

New Wave thingamajig that bounces abruptly between close-up erotica, premonitions of violence, meta-interviews with the cast, etc.—all of them stops along a noir tour through a Shinjuku-centered community of trans women. The fact that its dialogue namechecks Jonas Mekas, Che Guevara, and Jean Genet may give you some idea where director Toshio Matsumoto's formal and political allegiances lie. Don't blink, or you'll miss the instant when street-level journalism gives way to avant-garde theater. Transgressive jokes dangle from this hybrid edifice: girl fights are scored to a blithe calliope rendition of "The More We Get Together," and a recurring non sequitur reveals a row of naked butts, the last one in line clenching a rose stem. It's bawdy, brazen, bravura. One impressive shot follows a joint as it's passed around a room, each person in line taking a quick puff; another is from the POV of a blinded woman staggering out of a building, and it feels like a harbinger of Halloween. Too much to fully process in one viewing. More productive, perhaps, to get lost in it.

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