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Perversions Of Grandeur With Toshio Matsumoto

(Directed by Toshio Matsumoto, 1961-1971)

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Can anyone honestly say we’d have Kubrick’s pop-art nightmare A Clockwork Orange without Matsumoto’s ground-breaking Funeral Parade Of Roses that came out two years prior?

A filmmaker that inspired as many Hollywood’s legends, as up-and-coming avant-garde auteurs (even if they won’t admit it), Toshio Matsumoto may not be the most famous name in the Japanese new-wave canon, but he’s certainly the most infamous.

From a gender-bending take on Oedipus Rex (featuring an iconic performance by early trans actress Shinnosuke Ikehata) to early ground-breaking experimentation with video tape, in some ways this fine artist’s work is more at home with Duchamp than any post-modern filmmakers. Matsumoto’s work is a perverse explosion of stimulation and complex themes of identity, using fast-cuts, rotoscoping, time manipulation, and splashes of kaleidoscopic colors that makes the viewer’s experience a sinful indulgence, with an entire filmography that feels like it was soaked in a beaker full of LSD.

Through strobing flickers of brilliance and a choreography of controlled chaos, Matsumoto creates a unified collection of works waiting to be rediscovered. 

The Weavers of Nishijin

Directed by Toshio Matsumoto (1961)

The Song Of Stone

Directed by Toshio Matsumoto (1964)

For The Damaged Right Eye

Directed by Toshio Matsumoto (1969)

Funeral Parade Of Roses

Directed by Toshio Matsumoto (1969)

Ecstasis

Directed by Toshio Matsumoto (1969)

Murder Catalogue

Directed by Toshio Matsumoto(1971)

Demons

Directed by Toshio Matsumoto (1971)

Metastasis

Directed by Toshio Matsumoto (1971)

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