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
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.
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…
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…
That's the stuff nightmares are made out of.
This film is as mad as any of the protagonists/antagonists. Mad editing. Mad scenery. Mad writing.
I think I'm probably also a little mader after watching this.
A Page of Madness is beautifully chaotic. It is an affront to naturalism, embracing instead atmosphere and style. We open with an asylum in a rainstorm, jagged lightning stuck onto the print. Then comes the tale of abuse and madness. The film uses madness to showcase all kinds of abstract cinematic visuals. It presents the terror of uncertainty, as what is fantasy and what is reality becomes harder to distinguish. The images show us a dance without reason, the fake smiles of masks, and faces pressed against bars as the camera presses towards them. A Page of Madness plays with the traditions and prejudices of 1920s Japan to show madness as contagious. It's a bizarre and energetic film, representing art designed to challenge us. Nothing is quite as it seems, which is the exact nature of cinema.
Hooptober Fest 5.0
One Silent Film
The product of a Japanese anti-naturalistic avant-garde art group called Shinkankakuha (School of New Perceptions), what remains in 2018 of the film A Page of Madness is missing a third of that which was initially shown in theaters in addition to lacking any kind of standard silent movie text intertitles, as screenings in Japan would be accompanied with a live in-house announcer/storyteller who would explain what was going on up on the screen.
But from what I gathered from secondary sources quickly pulled up during my viewing, the film is about a delusional, catatonic-yet-dancing woman in a mental institution and her husband who works as a janitor there in order to…
That dancing riled up more people than in Footloose
A horrible dream, a sinister film straight out of an urban legend. Watch this and you'll die in seven days; maybe what's missing should stay missing, something about those noh masks.....
Maybe a bit too disorienting for some people to get into it and I may not have fully understood it this first watch but this truly is a fascinating film. For a silent film this is truly a remarkable film, and it's ability to convey so much emotion and madness without a single line of dialogue. You're thrust into the absolute insanity this film has in store by the abstract, chilling and shock to the veins of an opening sequence. The film is about a man trying to break free a woman from an asylum but it's really just a montage of the darkness trapped within this space, images that scream and beg for hope and the people who have…
Part of Hooptober
Film #16 of 30
One of the absolute finest, most imaginative and nightmarish silent films. Using no intertitles to break its rhythm, A Page of Madness displays insanity not by story, but by mood and using all sorts of techniques; dutch angles, double exposure, distorted lenses, rapid editing, etc. The story can be difficult to follow, but forget that and focus on its visual techniques because it's hypnotic really, and the unnerving score and sound design constantly oozes dread. Fits perfectly to the images. The editing here is unbelievable - there's echoes of Russian montage, but overall mostly of German expressionism, especially from Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, but it is still its entirely own unique, surreal and haunting little thing. Loved it.
This silent film was thought lost for decades until the director Teinosuke Kinugasa found it among his possessions in the 1970's. It is a shame he didn't have copies for all of his films because so many have been lost. But if he were to find only one of his silent films, this would certainly be a good choice. It is an astonishing visual experimental film with horrific images, rapid cutting and editing as if on an overdose of a mix of some hallucinogenic drug and speed, usage of double and triple exposures, vivid distortion and an all around feeling of nothing being real. Of the world going out of control. All this accompanied by a musical score - written…
Mona o que foi issoooooooooooooooo?
Absurdo em todos os sentidos!
The description for A Page of Madness is pretty much the review. Its a silent, experimental, Japanese horror film. Its a fine example of that and its either your jam or it isn't. For me, its not.
Probably one of the more challenging and enigmatic films I've seen but still fascinating nonetheless and full of striking surreal imagery. The ending was particularly eerie and haunting! I have a feeling this one will take multiple viewings for me to fully comprehend.
Absolutely mesmerizing. It’s unsettling and groundbreaking NOW, so consider the genius minds that conjured this when cinema was still in infancy!
A masterpiece. Wayyyyy ahead of its time.
Actually makes you feel a little insane whilst watching it due to the absence of speech and constant music alongside the overpowering colour of white.
una película que se consideró perdida por poco más de cuarenta años hasta que su director la encontró azarosamente en una bodega. en ella queda de manifiesto que las sensibilidades artísticas del cine japonés que se popularizaron en otras latitudes posterior a la década de los 50 ya se manejaban en la época del cine mudo. si bien es cierto los ecos del expresionismo alemán resuenan en esta cinta, es innegable que ésta representa una innovación en varios aspectos que el cine europeo aplicaría después para las películas de corte surrealista. la mezcla entre realidad y ficción favorecida por la atmósfera del sanatorio, las transiciones entre planos, el juego de cámaras entre otros recursos construyen un drama de corte psicológico…
Sem exagero nenhum, os 15 primeiros minutos e os 10 minutos finais tão entre os melhores momentos que o cinema experimental ja proporcionou. Que grata surpresa e que baita experimento.
Wow. Thinking that this was made in the 20´s really blows my mind.
Loved the camera work and the ambient it creates.
The DVD version I watched of this looked pretty rough most of the time. About halfway through I lost what was happening in the story due to the visual roughness along with the lack of title cards, hypnotic repetitious music, and I was tired.
I enjoyed the cinematography, effects, and performances though. I’m sure there’s a lot to analyze here. Maybe I’ll read about it sometime.
An early example of Japanese cinema, and Japanese horror, A Page of Madness is the tale of a man who drove his wife insane, and fears doing the same to his daughter, but in the entire setting and context of a mental asylum. As a story, it can feel a bit convoluted, and without the context of Japanese culture, it's also easy to feel lost, too. That said, what the movie might lack in that respect, it makes up for in eerie sets, fitting shots, and an overall style that really highlights what it means to be stuck in one's own madness. As a horror film, it's apparent how genre defining this film must've been for later Japanese films to follow.
one of the best films i’ve ever seen actually... like this was a shift! something shifted.
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