A man takes a job at an asylum with hopes of freeing his imprisoned wife.
A man takes a job at an asylum with hopes of freeing his imprisoned wife.
The Forgotten Pages, Une page folle, Kurutta ippêji, 미친 한 페이지
Sometimes in history, things happen that make you wonder, "How could that have happened?"? There are many people who claim that Christianity and Jesus were greatly influenced by cultures that never crossed paths with each other around the time X religion and Christianity were being developed. History also shows that several individuals have come up with the same idea at the same time but without physically meeting.
Why am I bringing this up? The reason is that many of the theories of revolutionary director and editor Sergei Eisenstein can be found here. The way the footage is spliced into each other along with the quick cuts, as well as the use of dutch angles and…
This was my essay on Kurutta ippêji (A Page of Madness) for my Film History & Crit class. I left the in text citations in.
Thanks to Adam Cook for the recommendation.
Although Japan’s cultural and artistic history is already considered astronomical and reputable, some early works were never discovered because of World War 2 and the destruction it had on Japanese art. However, out of the destruction there were a few films which had survived the monstrosity and calamity the war had created; one of which being Teinosuke Kinugasa’s, Kurutta ippêji (A Page of Madness), which tells the story of a man who takes a job as a janitor at an insane asylum to rescue his wife who is a…
an unnerving, guilt-ridden and surreal silent era nightmare that is stripped of title cards that might help balance you and instead drops you head-first into the horrifying images of masked faces, expressionist dancing, torn photographs and literal dreams/fantasies trapped within concrete walls and prison bars. the uncanny use of non-linear editing and shifting, subjective perspective creating this stylish psychological fracturing effect as these past lives lost in time try to come to violent terms with the tangible reality of their current institutionalized surroundings. this should be as well-known and studied as the german expressionists.
Viewed with the Amazing Edith’s *Collab Film Group*.
After brainstorming over fantastic music for a silent film with the Collab, I ended up just buckling in for the music that was recorded by the Alloy Orchestra in 2016. While not the most dynamic of pieces, it was a trip to experience a silent film in the throes of a non-ragtime or piano-centric piece. The percussive element is very much alive and well, and drives the eclectic and frenetic mania A Page of Madness strives for. Additionally, there is not a single intertitle card which makes the film stick out all the more, coincidentally adding to the blurred and incoherent narrative.
As this is silent film 60+ for me (I did not…
Thunder and lightning, atmospheric calamity.
The night sky creates its own breed of insanity.
Living in agony, but bearing no scars,
trapped behind a brain that’s trapped behind bars.
Taking over her face, like an invisible disguise;
Washed away, when he looks at her, with tears in his eyes.
He remembers the time when she left, but still stayed.
It seems so long ago. He’s becoming afraid.
“Will she ever come back? Will she remember if she does?
The things that I did? The person I was?
Will she ever hear my cries? Will I ever break through?
Has it taken too long? Has it taken me too?
Should I begin letting go, and risk missing her restored?
I wasn't prepared for this - but to be fair I don't suppose it would be easy to prepare for the sort of experience that A Page of Madness is set to provide within how brief it may be. Teinosuke Kinugasa's A Page of Madness is an insane film, but in such a sense that would much better be experienced for oneself rather than described. After having been lost for nearly forty-five years, Teinosuke Kinugasa's surrealist experiment still remains one of the most baffling films to have ever been made, a film to define its time for it is simply something that we are unlikely to ever stumble across once again. Essential surrealist cinema? I would not be one to…
Rhythmic and relentless. Escalating, cumulative, expressionistic dread. Images on top of one another, simultaneously cast in a gauzy haze, creating super-imposed synergistic meanings. Visual patterns call backwards and forwards across an oblique narrative. Pitch bleak visual excess. All is impressionism. Perceptionism. Both the characters and the viewers are lost in visions. There is no detachment.
Masuo Inoue’s utterly haunted and persistent face tries to keep us grounded. His performance is amazing, hard to take your eyes off of. We see him mind wander, his consciousness compromised, unfastened, drifting. A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. And so his head is our head. Your head is my head.
All of it a neoteric attempt to find a filmic language for mental…
Watched with the Collab.
Without intertitles or the presence of a benshi who would traditionally fill in gaps, and offer their own creative contributions to the image on-screen, the narrative of Teinosuke Kinugasa's A Page of Madness (1926) is, at times, very difficult to follow.* What's not difficult to follow, however, are the emotions of the film. Set inside an asylum for the insane in the Japanese countryside, the film is infused with fear, pain, and confusion — those of the inmates, first and foremost, but also of the janitor whom we often accompany, a man who initially seems untouched by madness.
Cinematic insanity is frightening when we can feel it. There's little horror in looking from the outside at…
Collab Film Club . 2
I have been bewitched, I am in a trance. It has been around an hour ago since I finished ‘A Page of Madness’ and only now have I started to wake up. For an hour I have been trying to come up with words to describe this experience, yet of all the words that I could think of, only one did this justice: hypnotic. This is a film that absorbed me into its being to the point where nothing around me mattered except for the film. I understood this on a subconscious level, and that is what matters in Kinugasa’s film; the film may be silent, but I could hear the screams, the…
One of the landmarks of silent cinema, and like Joan of Arc, seems to combine all the various silent film techniques from Germany, Russia, France, and the United States into one final hurrah of silent cinema. Vlada Petric notes in his 1983 article in Film Criticism that it was still mostly off the radar of even the most scholarly studies of Japanese cinema (even by Noel Burch’s famous study). It’s certainly a hard film to grasp onto plot-wise, and there are disagreements to whether the benshi script is lost, or it was meant originally to be played completely silent as Kinugasa stated when the print resurfaced in the 1970s. Re-watching it, I found it surprisingly easy to follow the narrative…
Bit of a waste of time, this.
Without a proper benshi to narrate what the hell is going on, the viewer’s left with a jumbled mess of starkly beautiful, but largely incoherent images. Did you know that the bearded inmate was bowing to the janitor at the end because it’s a traditional gesture of respect for a freshly-minted son-in-law to show his wife’s father? The hell you did.
Kinugasa wasn’t going for “Lynchian” you toffee-nosed twat; he was trying to tell a (somewhat) accessible, heartbreaking story of neglected love, of regret and penance. Without the accompanying narration (or even intertitles!), modern audiences are left grappling in the dark, forced to attach their own self-infatuated exegesis to the material. (Wikipedia is…
Of all the silent horror films I chose for my first run at hosting the collab, four of the five focused on monsters – the devil, Jack the Ripper, Count Orlok and other naughty boys like that – but, A Page of Madness focused on something more terrifying. This surreal Japanese silent film is a harrowing look into mental illness and the treatment of those hospitalized in Japan in the 1920s. The narrative is as chaotic and shadowy and dizzying as the effects throughout, and while I really only knew what was going on thanks to Wikipedia, I don’t really think following a straight-forward storyline is the point here.
The parts I found most striking were the dance parts –…