aglimpseof 02 . FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES

FROM “DESERTING” TO “ARTIFICIAL”

JANUARY-MARCH 2010

SOURCE TEXT: The script of the movie Funeral Parade of Roses by Toshio Matsumoto.

CONTENTS:

• The scenario At the temple of sad stories by Dimitra Ioannou is linked to the word “fake”

• The photo Is it a rose or is it a mirror? by Cateryna Kosty is linked to the word “mirage”

• The photo When (your) love was green by Antonis Katsouris is linked to the word “garden”

• The collage Queen by Vassilis Salpistis is linked to the word “queen”

• The drawing Beautiful, Eddie by Irini Karayannopoulou is linked to the word “beautiful”

• The image Deserting by Angela Mewes is linked to the word “deserting”

• The image Eddie by Angela Mewes is linked to the word “Eddie”


aglimpseof’s second issue begins with the script of the movie “Funeral Parade of Roses” by Toshio Matsumoto (Tokyo, 1969); a“mosaic” of dialogues, recollections, interviews, thoughts, comments, lyrics and quotations that was made by free association so as to create a psychedelically blurred narration. “The story doesn’t unfold along a single strand of linear time”, as Matsumoto himself points out in his commentary track which is included on the DVD release of the film by Eureka!/Masters of Cinema (http://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/).

“The theme of blurred outlines becomes a central motif in the film. The fact that boundary lines are not delineated and that the definition of things is unclear. In other words, things are separated down the middle by boundary lines and this system of demarcating various things in the world was created entirely by human beings. So this means that when the standards and criteria imposed on the world become less exact, our way of looking at the world becomes more blurred. Therefore, objectivity and subjectivity, male and female, fiction and reality, all these definitions become blurred. I think you can understand the issue here is that we were in an era when our world which has been adjusted to fit according to our ideas no longer seemed so fixed and inflexible. I suppose we could call this vagueness, this haze a kind of fissure in the world.”

PS. The asterisks are used to indicate the scenes; tiny fragments with no chronological order that you may read in a fragmented way if you find the text too long (which is).

Funeral Parade of roses by Toshio Matsumoto

I am the wound and the blade, both the torturer and he who is flayed.1

– It’s a beautiful day.
– It’s too bright.
– Is that OK?
– Yes. I don’t like the sun.
– You’re like an owl.
– Oh, no. Pass me that.
– Do you like my muscles?
– Can you lift the chair?
– Of course I can.
– Can you do my back up?
– How do I look?
Beautiful, Eddie.
– Do you like my hair down or up?
– Either way.
– I hate to leave you.
– Don’t quit the bar.
– I have to.
– Give me time. I’ll make Leda quit the bar. Then you’ll be the proprietress.
– She’ll want revenge over the dope.
– Damn Leda!

*

– Do you want a cigarette?
– That was Leda.
– No.
– It was.
– Don’t look back.
– Was she following us?
– Nonsense!
– But it was Leda.
– What will she do?
– Nothing.
– I’m scared.
– Damn Leda! If she acts funny…
– Don’t say anymore.

*

– Your hand. Everybody, your hands, please!
– What is it?
– Open your hand.
– What’s this?

*

– You look exactly like a girl. How long have you been a queen?
– For four years.
– Why did you decide to become a queen?
– I wanted to be a girl. I like it.
– You like girls?
– No, I like to behave like one.
– Does it satisfy you?
– Well, I’m very happy now.
– Will you become a “man” again?
– I don’t think so.
– Will you become a transsexual?
– No, I won’t go that far.

*

– How long have you been gay?
– Since last December.
– How come?
– I like it.
– You like what?
– Being gay.
– Gay? You mean you like men?
– Not exactly. I can’t tell. I like gays, that’s all.
– Being a queen?
– Yes.
– How come?
– I was born that way.
– Born?

*

– Hello! It’s been a long time.
– What a great place.
– I was so tired.
– Too much sex!
– Do you know what this is?
– What is it?
– As if you didn’t know.
– Oh, no! You’re embarrassing me.
– Watch!

*

– Things have changed.
– In this area, yes. You’re so right.
– It was good in Akasaka.
– The good old days!
– This is the Madame.
– Beautiful! Wonderful!
– Telephone for you.
– Excuse me.
– Hello? Mr Iida? Where are you? The Jardin? Come over here. I’ll be waiting. See you later.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

– You’re late.
– I’m sorry.
– Glad you could make it. She’s got a nerve.
– By the way, did you bring it?

*

– Where to, Tony?
– Hey, what’s up? Hey, were are you going?

*

– Steady! No. All right, cut!
– I’ll do it.
– Take it easy.
– You arse! Leave it to me. Move it, you lot. Slowly. OK?
– No.
– This is as good as I can make it.
– It’s no good.
– Damn it!
– Good! It’s OK.
– I’m talented!
– Hardly!
– Don’t move!
– Yeah, that’s it.
– Cut! That’s all.
– We’ve 20 feet left.
– Want a cigarette?
– Keep it.
– I want to smoke marijuana.
– Eddie’s not here.
– Burn banana peel.
– That doesn’t work.
– I have two pills.
– Give them to me!
– Only two.
– Eye lotion helps.
– Drink it!

*

– They look weird!
– He looks good!

*

Funeral Parade of Roses

*

– She’s shameless, that girl! She makes me mad.
– Don’t worry. Young people nowadays think differently.
– You’re just encouraging them.
– Don’t be critical or no one will work with you.
– But Eddie has bad manners. All she knows is how to flirt.
– Times have changed.
– But queens should have pride, too. We must respect ourselves. Ouch.
– What’s wrong?
– I cut my leg. I’m bleeding. Look. Ouch.
– It’s like a mosquito bite. You’re all right now. Don’t get hysterical.
– I’m sorry. I was anxious.
– What about?
– That you’d desert me.
– You’re being stupid.
– You won’t?
– Never.
– Who do you like better, me or Eddie?
– You, of course.

*

– Let’s have some fun together.
– Come on.
– What’s wrong?
– Nothing.
– Are you alone?
– Yes, but I’m all right now.
– How about a drink with me?
– Come and keep me company.

*

“Every man has his own mask which he has carved for a long time. Some wear the same masks all their lives, others use a variety of masks. Some masks stress the features others are far from their original. Some are poor and easily distinguishable others are so skilfully made, they’re hardly distinguishable. People always wear masks when they face each other. They see only masks. Even if they remove their masks their faces seldom expose themselves. Because there may be second masks. And even third masks hidden under the first ones. Therefore, people often take your masks for you. And you take theirs for them. The objective of love and hatred may be the masks. Faces suffer loneliness. People try to escape from it and make new masks.”

*

– Hey, taxi, taxi!
– Where are we going?

*

– Look, Guevara. Do you want this?
– Thread it through.
– OK.

*

What a sly, mysterious scheme!

*

– Cut! Oh, wait. OK. OK!
– You don’t need the microphone.
– Next, an interview with Rabbit.
– An interview? We only have 20 minutes left. Only 20 minutes.
– Let’s have an interview with Rabbit.

*

– Do you like the love scene?
– Yes.
– A man loves a man. As a queen, what do you think? Don’t you feel guilty?
– Well, you can love a man, as well as a woman. If you’re in love, it makes no difference.
– Do queens have no interest in girls as sex objects?
– There are various types. I can’t say yes or no.
– Are you more interested in men or in women?
– Me personally?
– I mean generally.
– Generally, yes. They tell themselves they’re women.
– How about you?
– Me? You can guess.

*

Please don’t smoke/your cigarettes in bed./If you truly love me/please just turn out the lights./Let’s close our eyes./And dream sweet dreams./Your sighs say more to me/than any words could./Tonight we will be together/once again./Please don’t smoke/your cigarettes in bed, will you?

– Do you know “NHSMC”? Nihon Homosexual Men’s Club.
– Where is it?
– In Minami-cho. There’s a party every week. The members bring handsome boys.
– I read about it in the paper.
– No, it’s in Akasaka.
– Really?
– You mean the secret club for homosexuals?
– There’s a lot of them.
– There are many impersonators, too.
– Impersonators?
– They pretend to be gay.
– They can earn more that way.
– Don’t look at us like that. We’re the genuine article!
– Some detectives are here.
– Detectives?
– Eddie… Do you know him?
– Who?
– He’s called Yagawa.
– He’s missing.
– Never seen him.

*

– It was 12 years ago today. You don’t remember.
– Forget about father. You have me.

*

– This is so delicious.
– How nice!
– That’s pretty!
– It’s expensive.
– It could be a present for me.
– A patron?
– Yes.
– Old news.
– I didn’t know.
– Excuse me.
– Me, too.

Board of Film Censorship/15877

*

– What good is she? She’s just a loafer.
– Come, come.
– Nothing is any good.
– Watch out. I understand. Go to bed.
– Promise me you’ll fire Eddie, or I won’t move.
– You’re impossible. Eddie is the number one girl at Bar Genet. Customers come to see her.  Remember that.
– You’re in love with her. Say so.
– Stop being stupid! You’re always complaining.
– You rat! Are you a man?
-“Are you a man?” That’s a question I should ask you. I’ll make one thing clear. If anyone has to quit, it’s you, not her.
– I understand. Try to fire me, if you can. I’ll expose your secret business.

Then, you don’t love mankind?

– Don’t desert me!
– I’m not kidding!

No, I hate it.

*

– Damn Leda! If she acts funny…
– Don’t say any more. Stop! Please stop.
– What’s up?
– I feel sick. Let me get out.
– Don’t be nervous, Eddie. I’ll take you home.
– I need some fresh air.
– Are you all right? I’ll call you later.

*

– They look weird.

*

– So, what do you think of it?
– I don’t know.
– My ears are humming.
– I’ve never seen anything like it before.
– Unplug the speakers.
– It’s very “underground”, isn’t it?
– Kind of…
– You look surprised.
– I am.
– “All definitions of cinema have been erased. All doors are now open”, Menas Jokas.
– Jonas Mekas.
– Of course.
– But you must feel something with your body.
– It’s intoxicating.
– Really? I prefer real drugs.
– Good! It’s time for some.
– No.
– Oh, pot!
– Good!
– No!
– Don’t push me.
– Two for me.
– Two. No credit.
– Don’t be stingy!
– For you, Piro?
– One.

*

– How much marijuana have you smoked?
– I’ve smoked a lot. I smoke heavily.
– How do you feel when you smoke it?
– I feel like I’m floating up from the chair. That’s how I feel. Like a chair on a rock. Do you know that feeling? A chair on a rock. It’s not too hard to touch. I’m floating up from my bed… That kind of feeling. I want that feeling again. I want more of it.
– Have you ever smoked marijuana?
– No.

*

– Have you ever done drugs?
– I do them all the time.
– What kind of drugs?
– Minahai and Norumo. When I’m out of that I take Maruso and Donton.
– How do you feel?
– Well, my senses become paralysed. I become psychologically idle, that’s all.
– Well, I find myself in a state of mind where I can’t see myself.
– Something like a state of ecstasy?
– Not like ecstasy, or anything. When I take it too much I don’t even remember that I’ve taken it. I don’t feel like I exist, but still I hear later on that I was moving around, and did many things. It’s an interesting experience.
– What are you looking for from that experience?
– I’m not looking for anything. It’s meaningless.
– How did you get yourself caught up in this habit?
– Well, it’s like alcohol, but it’s easier to take than alcohol.

*

– Stop it! You’re tickling me!
– You’re next!
– Try your best!
– The top or the bottom?
– You’re a glamorous type!
– Guevara, go for it!
– See, I told you I could!
– Take off your shirt!
– Get off me! I’ll do it!
– What a dirty vest!
– Eddie’s next.
– Me? No.
– Try harder, Eddie.
– Strip!
– Not yet. Take these off first.
– “The first chapter has ended. I’ll leave you and go on my next trip.”

*

Roses. Oh, the empire of roses!

*

– Good morning!
– Hello!
– Let’s go to the beauty parlour.
– Just give me a minute.
– OK.
– I’ll put my make-up on.
– These look delicious. Can I have one?
– Of course you can.
– It looks nice.
– Oh, no, you’re imagining things.
– You are.
– We both have bad imaginations. Have you sinned?
– It was a laugh. I ate at the Kamehachi last night. A boy who sat beside me asked for a date. He invited me to a hotel. I had a few drinks and then I went to the hotel with him. He was a masochist. He asked me to tie him up and step on him. He cried like a fur seal! He believed all the time that I was a girl. But I feel sorry for boys like him.

*

– You’re being naughty!

*

– Goodnight.
– Eddie, wait.
– You know what I want to speak to you about? Do you think that I can’t see what you’re up to?

Badger!
Skunk!
Thief!
Stupid!
Fairy!
Whore!
Impotent!
Shit!
C**t!
– How dare you? Get out!
– Damn you!

*

“Behind the masks, faces suffer loneliness. People try to escape.”

– Is that you, Eddie?
– Eddie! Come on!

*

– I warned you, didn’t I? Don’t cry. This is the last bit.
– Will I’ll be all right for my birthday?
– Of course. They’re just scratches.
– Will you celebrate my birthday with me?
– Let’s go to the Imperial Hotel and have a big party.
– No, let’s have it in my apartment, just the two of us. I’ll decorate my room with flowers. Roses, of course. I’ll light candles as well. It will be wonderful.

*

– I’m scared. Everything’ s hazy.
– The outlines are always changing.
– I reach for something, but the next moment I see nothing.
– You’re not the only one.
– Can’t I see it as it really is? Or is it gone?
– Suppose it never was there.
– From the beginning?
– Yes, just like a mirage.
– What should I believe?
– I don’t know.
– It’s strange.
– What is?
– It’s like I’ve seen it before. But that’s impossible, right? It’s strange. Something is wrong with me. Can that happen?
– Watch out. Don’t run!

*

Father’s Return.2

*

Let the day perish wherein I was born...3

*

“…it may have an adverse effect on young people. Police headquarters today started an investigation into drug smuggling. As a counter plan, some commentators think it’s too little too late. That’s the end of the news.”

*

– That was Leda.
– No.
– It was.
– Don’t look back.
– Was she following us?
– Nonsense!

*

– Scum!

*

– I feel funny today.
– You’re just tired.
– I feel like “life” left me behind a long, long time ago.
– “A man spend most of his lifetime walking. But he isn’t always a walker. It’s possible that a man who walks little and hates to walk and is never good at walking is a walker beyond doubt.” Le Clezio, a writer, said that.

*

– You’re being naughty!
– No!
– Don’t! Don’t! Don’t! Don’t! Don’t! Don’t!

*

– Eddie! Eddie!

The road to sanctity is narrow.4

*

– Cut!
– What do you think about the hero?
– He and I have something in common. His father leaves him as a child. His way of living resembles mine. His character, too.
– His character? Do you sympathise with him?
– In the way that he lives, yes. But not in terms of incest, or things like that. But I do understand him.
– How did the role attract you?
– This is my first movie, and I’m very interested in it. My circumstances are similar to his. That’s one reason. And gay life is portrayed beautifully.
– And the love scenes?
– I just follow what the director says.

*

We demand the complete and unconditional withdrawal of all US forces from their bases in Japan!

*

– Do you know her?
– Only by sight.
– She doesn’t know me.
– That’s good.
– What do you want me to do?
– Be sure that you get her face.

*

– Who’s there? What’s wrong?
– The police are after me.
– You’re bleeding. Come here.
– I’m really grateful.
– You should go to a hospital.
– Did it hurt?
– No, I didn’t feel it.
– You’re lucky, your injury isn’t serious.
– Thank you.
– Why take part in a riot?
– To bring down the government.
– That still doesn’t justify violence.
– “What matters is not the admission of violence but the progressiveness of the violence. Αnd whether the violence will stop or whether it will last forever. In deciding, don’t judge crimes by morality. People use morality purely by mistake. Place crimes in terms of logic and dynamics and in history, where they belong.”
– I’m late. I must be going.
– I’m sorry to have troubled you.
– That’s all right.

*

-You’ re late.
– I’m sorry.
– Glad you could make it. She’s got a nerve.
– Hello. Sorry to have kept you waiting. Thanks. It’s all finished. Thanks to you, I have a good appetite.

*

– What are you looking at?
– What are you looking at?
– You’re looking for trouble, you fags!
– What did you call us?
– She called us fags!
– You are fags, aren’t you?
– You’re just common girls!
– Common girls!
– Men don’t like common girls.
– You dare to call us common? There’s nothing common about our gang tattoos! You see? Now, get them!

*

– Welcome home. How are they?
– Terrible!
– Are they hurt? Eddie, as well? I don’t want to lose her.
– No kidding! Stop acting! What did you ask Osumi to do for you? She confessed. Did you think that your lousy trick would work?
– Please listen to me.
– Shut up! I see. You mean you love me that much? Or you mean that you love running Bar Genet, not me?
– You’re cruel.
– Don’t cry. No tears for me. No, thank you. “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” What a joke! You’re getting old. Your time is over.
– Just like that?
– You can’t blackmail me. There’s no evidence. Take your time and look for it.

*

The sun, a decapitated head.5

*

– Are you alone?
– No.
– Welcome. Come in.
– Do you like Akihiro Maruyama?
– I like Carousel Maki.
– I like Maruyama.
– Why?
– Because Maki is a transsexual. I’m sorry.
– How is your movie going?
– There are only a few more scenes to do.
– It’s tough on your first movie.
– Is it interesting?
– I’m not sure. It’s very unique though.

Awaiting your esteemed acclamation!

*

– Have you seen Leda?
– That’s strange. Juju sent for her.
– She’s late.
– Can we meet again?
– I don’t know. Vietnam is at war.
– Eddie, Juju is on the phone.
– Hello, it’s me. What?

*

– Roses were her favorite flowers.
– They had to be artificial, too.
– Thank you.
– Thank you, all. Come this way.
– The ground here is sinking.
– It’s true! Look at that.
– The graves are sinking!
– I wish the whole country would sink under water.

The end of the world is nigh.

*

– Guevara. What are you thinking?
– About the exit.
– What exit?
– “Now, from the open ceiling roses are falling, one after another. Spring! O unhappy spring!”

*

– Leave it there.
Eddie… I mean Madame. That sounds funny.
– Why?
– What about this one?
– Let me see. Put it in the corner. Sir, throw this away.
– Goodbye.
– Good luck.
– Make sure to drop by again.
– Madame… Can I leave it here?
– Yes.

*

– What is your biggest dream? What do you want to do in the future?
– Well, I want to have some savings. I think I’d like to run a shop.
– A gay bar?
– Possibly.
– Will you live as a queen all your life?
– Yes.
– Don’t you think about marriage?
– I do, but I won’t get married. I can’t. I can’t be a “man”.

*

– What do you want to do in the future?
– Nothing in particular. Nothing.
– Nothing at all? No dreams?
– I am what I am.
– Are you happy living as a queen?
– I’m content.
– What are you going to do?
– Nothing.
– You have no ideas?
– …
– Are you happy now?
– Not very.
– No? Well, why don’t you stop being a queen?
– There’s no reason to.

*

Father’s Return

– Why don’t you take a bath?
– What is it?

“Frightening, isn’t it? The cursed destiny of man. What a mix of cruelty and laughter it is! Let’s look forward to the next programme. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.”

*

The spirit of an individual reaches its own absolute through incessant negation.6

 


NOTES

1.     Τhis is a quotation from the poem “L’héautontimorouménos” (The Man Who Tortures Himself) from The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire. ― “Je suis la plaie et le couteau!/Je suis le soufflet et la joue!/Je suis les membres et la roue,/Et la victime et le bourreau!”, Les Fleurs du Mal.

2.     A book by Kan Kikuchi (1888-1948). Kikuchi established the publishing company Bungei Shungu and the famous Akutagawa prize for emerging writers.

3.     Τhis is a quotation from The Book of Job.

4.     Jean Genet.

5.     Lines of the poem Les Fiançailles by Guillaume Apollinaire. ― «Il vit decapité, sa tête est le soleil / Et la lune son cou tranché.», (Le dossier d’ “Alcools”, 1913).

6.     Τhis is a quotation from René Daumal (1908-1944).

The Funeral Parade of Roses has been released on DVD by Eureka!/Masters of Cinema (http://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/)


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