The same year he formally debuted with FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES (the film that inspired the visual palette of a certain CLOCKWORK ORANGE), Matsumoto made plain and obvious with this 12 minute short film that not only had he mastered the experimental short format in ways other Japanese experimentalists of the time like Shuji Terayama couldn't even dream, but was further able to do so with nothing of the haughty distanced (let's face it, often pretentious) attitude of an experimental intelligentzia that often strives to elevate itself above the very audience it purports to address. No this is visceral filmmaking. A helter skelter of late 60's counter-culture psychedelia played in two separate screens, images of student riots, drag queens getting ready for a night in town, fires, juxtaposed against swinging hippies, Japanese women casually arranging their wardrobe, people commuting to work, and various cartoon strips, all this played over a collage of news report snippets telling about the Communist threat, radio recordings, Rolling Stones, Japanese pop tunes, and Hitler speeches, while flickering images of fires and difigured babies flash over the screen now and again. It's all pretty anarchic and adds up to no concrete narrative but it all makes sense in a purely audiovisual way (hence cinematic, oddly enough for a film made up mostly of found footage), the overarching feeling and atmosphere Matsumoto is trying to communicate emerging from the patchwork of cut-up images and sound crystal clear.As further testament to the cultural embargo of sorts that makes even high profile Japanese directors like Shinoda, Suzuki, Gosha, and Kobayashi still relatively unknown in the west, this ought by all means to be as much a cult item representative of its time, almost audaciously ahead of it and fresh and modern, as anything Kenneth Anger ever did. I suspect the day Japanese cinema receives its proper due is the day many the cinematic status quo and history as we know it will need to be thoroughly devised.
FOR MY CRUSHED RIGHT EYE
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