"Film director, video artist and film theoretician, Toshio Matsumoto was a pioneer of Japanese 1960s experimental cinema," wrote Elsa Coustou in 2015 for the Tate Modern. As the Asahi Shimbun reports, the director of Funeral Parade of Roses (1969) among other features has died at the age of 85. First, though, back to Coustou: "In the late 1950s, he collaborated with the collective Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop), soon integrating avant-garde elements into his documentary practice. In his influential essays and experimental films, Matsumoto developed in the 1960s what he coined ‘neo-documentarism’, an expressive type of documentary rejecting documentary’s traditional objective nature for one that would reveal internal mental states and subjectivities." See, too, the Tate's interview.

In 2006, Jasper Sharp noted in Midnight Eye that Funeral Parade of Roses, widely cited as an influence on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, was "his first feature-length work, and was made possible through the support of the Art Theatre Guild, who produced and distributed the film. Though the following decades have seen Matsumoto continuing to practice within the fields of experimental cinema and video installation, subsequent theatrical features, which include Pandemonium (Shura, 1971), A 16-Year-Old's War (Juroku-sai no Senso, 1972) and Dogura Magura (1988), have been rather thin on the ground."

In 2009, Ben Sachs, writing for Cine-File, called Funeral "an unflinching look at drug abuse, counterculture, and transvestism in 60s Tokyo, purportedly similar to contemporaneous work by Andy Warhol and William Klein in its collage of documentary and pop-art sensibilities…. The film was all but unprecedented in Japanese cinema for its (male) homoeroticism, and this trait only helped to make it more controversial at home. But in spite of these potentially dating aspects, this remains powerful filmmaking to many contemporary viewers."

"Matsumoto’s generation of avant-garde and taboo-breaking artists is slowly fading away," notes Japan Trends. "In recent years we have lost Koji Wakamatsu, Nagisa Oshima, Genpei Akasegawa and, last month, Seijun Suzuki."